Crossing The Blue Line

The rain beat steadily against the windshield as the wipers did their best to keep the view clear as Officer Danielle Pritchart drove home. She slowed down as she pulled into the corner convenience store near her house, parked close to the side, got out of the car and ran indoors.

Danielle grabbed a carton of milk out of the cooler and then examined a row of sandwiches, picking out the one that was the least amount of days past the expiry date. She paid, opened the door, and made a dash for the car.

She caught a movement out of the corner of her eye and turned just in time to take a fist to the face. The milk and sandwich fell to the ground as strong hands pulled her limp body to the side of the building.

********

Detective Jennifer Hendricks scanned over the day’s reports, pausing when she saw a report about women being attacked and left for dead. She shivered lightly as she read that three out of the five attacked had indeed died. The other two had not even seen the attacker.

“That today’s reports?”

Jenny looked up, nodding as she passed the file over to her partner. Detective Tiffany Chambers sat on the corner of her desk as she read. She started to take a sip of her coffee, then stopped.

“This nut case is in our neighborhood now?” she asked. She saw the questioning look from Jenny. “The guy who attacks then dumps. He use to be in…uh…damn.” She stopped as she tried to remember. “It sounds like that guy who was killing women on the west side a few years back.”

“I think I remember that,” Jenny said. “Use to choose Caucasian females, 25 - 30…usually blondes.”

“Yeah.” Tiffany passed the file to another officer, then drank the rest of her coffee. She looked around. “Dani in yet?”

*******

The convenience store clerk sighed to himself as he carried a bag of garbage out of the store. I hate rainy nights! Not one customer since midnight! He nodded to the other clerk just coming on shift, then went around the building to the dumpster.

He slowed his pace, staring when he saw a leg sticking out from the other side of the dumpster. He went to it, expecting to see yet another drunk passed out. This is getting to be their favorite spot.

“All right, you! Get your drunk ass out…” he stopped in shock at the sight of the beaten body.

********

Jennifer’s face was set with grim lines as she listened to the clerk’s account of the previous night’s events.

“She left…around…I don’t know…around ten.”

Jenny nodded her thanks and walked over to her car, watching the ambulance as it sped away. Tiffany joined her. “APB is out on Dani’s car,” she said as she took a drag of her cigarette.

“How’s Dani?” Jenny asked.

Tiffany tossed the cigarette to the ground and stepped on it. She looked out over the parking lot as frustration built inside her. “I don’t know,” she sighed as she got in the car.

******

Detective Anthony Cortez pulled away from the curb, turned at the next corner, and drove towards the freeway onramp. He sighed as he tried to concentrate, but his attention kept going back to thoughts of Dani. How could someone do something like this?!

“You want me to drive?” his partner, Detective Tina Collins asked.

“Naw, I’m fine,” Anthony replied as he merged with the freeway traffic. “I’m just thinking about…” He trailed off as a vehicle caught his attention. He threw the police light onto the dash, then executed a U-turn.

“What?!” Tina asked as she grabbed the radio, ready to call in whatever had his attention.

“That’s Dani’s car!” Anthony pointed at the blue Rabbit convertible weaving in and out of traffic ahead. He swerved around a large truck as he heard Tina call it in. “Damn it! Get the hell outta my way!” he yelled at the traffic.

“Back up is on the way,” Tina said. She grabbed the pursuit light and put in on the roof of the car. “He’s taking the off ramp!”

“I see it,” Anthony said. He pulled in between two cars, then over to the exit lane, following the small car off of the freeway. He smiled grimly as he saw two patrol cars coming from the opposite direction. The smile disappeared as Dani’s car sped around a corner, lost control, and slammed into a light post. The driver’s door flew open and a man stumbled out, then ran down an alleyway.

Anthony slammed on the brakes and hopped out. He drew his gun, and cautiously looked down the alley. He entered, made a quick search, then came out the other side. He caught a glimpse of a man running through a park on the other side of the street. He grabbed his radio. “It’s Cortez…he’s heading west through the park.”

******

Jenny looked up as a shadow fell over her. “Trent,” she sighed as she stood and hugged him.

“Hi,” Trent whispered into her hair. “How’s Dani?”

“Still in surgery,” Jenny said as she let him go. “Someone hurt her real bad.” She looked around. “Carlos with you?”

Trent nodded. “He’s out in the smoking area with Tiffany.”

Jenny sighed again as she sat down and leaned against Trent’s shoulder as he took the chair beside her.

******

Carlos watched as Tiffany paced. “Will you stop it,” he said in a soft voice.

Tiffany looked at him as she butted her cigarette in the large ashtray. “Stop what?”

“Pacing…blaming yourself,” Carlos took her hands in his. “It is not your fault that Dani was attacked.”

“I know that!” She pulled her hands out of his and started to pace again. “Damn it, Carlos…she’s a cop…she should have been able to take care of herself.” She looked at him. “I mean, Dani beats me like, eight times outta ten on the mats…”

“She got taken by surprise,” Carlos said gently. He sighed as she lit another cigarette.

“If she got taken by surprise,” Tiffany shot back, “then what happens if I get taken by surprise?!”

“You can handle yourself,” Carlos said, not really liking this vulnerable side of her. He was use to seeing a Tiffany that was sure of herself, sure of her abilities.

“Carlos…” She stopped and stubbed out the barely touched cigarette. “I have been kidnapped, shot, beaten up…and that’s just been in the past seven months!” She looked at her boyfriend, who crossed his arms and stared at her. “What?”

“Why don’t you tell me what’s really wrong.”

Tiffany clenched her eyes tight and put her closed fists against them. “I'm just tired,” she whispered. "I'm fine."


In Loving Care Pt 2.....

Jenny's eyes popped open as something brushed her arm. She sat quickly, slightly disoriented to find herself laying under a tree. "Trent," she whispered as the events of the past evening rushed at her.

"Mmm," a voice quietly murmured from beside her. Trent rolled over and peeked up at her. "Huh?" He sat up and looked around. "Oh, yeah," he muttered. "I was kinda hoping that I had been dreaming."

Jenny stood slowly and looked around. "Sorry to disappoint you, but this is real." She smiled at him. "Sucks, huh?"

"Yep." Trent climbed to his feet, stretching slightly as he took in his surroundings. "We should get going." He smiled sheepishly. "Sorry that I fell asleep."

"I did too," Jenny reminded him. "I guess we were both too tired to continue." She let the

*****************************************************

A Case Of Mistaken Identity By Lillandra thunderfic@hotmail.com

Trent Malloy stepped out of the doorway and walked across the parking lot to his vehicle. He climbed in, once again wishing for his corvette. Sure, the vehicle he had was nice, but he still wanted his own. Since he was working on a case in a rather backcountry part of Louisiana, the SUV he had rented was a more logical choice.

Trent took off his jacket, laid it on the passenger seat, and then started to review his notes. It was a rather simple case; one in which he had to track down the granddaughter of a dying woman. The person he was searching for was due to inherit over three million dollars, and after four days of eliminating all others with the same name, he had tracked her down to deliver the news.

He called the elderly woman on his cellular phone to let her know that her granddaughter had been found, then tried to decide whether he should spend the night in the town, or drive back to Dallas.

******

Kim ??? looked up from her desk as the door to Thunder Investigations opened. She smiled as Carlos Sandoval walked in. “Good morning, Carlos,” she chirped. “Feeling better?”

Carlos smiled back at her. “Much better. I don’t ever want to get the flu again.” He sat down behind a desk and started to look through the papers piled on it. “Trent call in yet?”

“About twenty minutes ago,” Kim replied. “He found the granddaughter yesterday, and he’s on his way back.”

“Good…so, did I miss anything?”

“Not really.” Kim passed him a piece of paper. “This call came in just before you did.”

Carlos read it and sighed. “Another missing pet.” He looked up at her. “Why do I always get the missing pets, and Trent gets the missing females?”

“Because you decided to get sick last time, that’s why.” Kim smiled sweetly. “Come on, pets are like a member of the family for some people.”

***************************************************


And Baby Makes Three?

Detective Jennifer Hendricks waited outside the bathroom stall in worry. "You okay in there?" she asked. She stepped back as the toilet flushed and the door opened. "You look like hell."

Detective Tiffany Chambers glared at her. "Thanks for pointing that out, Jen." She walked to the sink and splashed cold water on her face. "I feel like hell, too."

"Got the flu?"

"No idea," Tiffany answered.

Jenny smiled slightly. "You know, there could be another reason you're sick to your stomach this morning."

"Oh, get real!" Tiffany said, but her hand went automatically to her stomach. "I mean, I can't be."

"If you say so," Jenny replied with a shrug. "That would be a site to see though."

"What would?" Tiffany swallowed as her stomach started to protest again.

"The expression on Carlos' face if it was true." She started to laugh.

Tiffany sighed. "Yeah..that would be a sight...for the whole five seconds it would take for the news to sink in, and for him to be on the next flight outta here."

"Carlos would make a great daddy," Jenny said as the door to the ladies room opened. "Hey, Dani."

Officer Danielle Pritchart nodded a hello. She had heard Jenny's last statement, and wondered what the topic was.

Tiffany put a hand over her mouth. "'Scuse, me," she said as she ran for a stall.

"She sick?" Dani asked. Things suddenly snapped into place when Jenny nodded. Tiff's sick...in the morning...Carlos would make a great daddy...oh, this is a good one!

*****

Tiffany leaned her head against the coolness of the window as Jenny drove. She closed her eyes against the scenery, wishing that her stomach would cooperate with her. She chuckled to herself as she thought about what Jenny had suggested. It was true that Carlos would make a great father, of that Tiffany had no doubt. The only "if" in the whole scenerio was the fact the Carlos had a fear of the word commitment. Sure, they had been together for over six months, but at times she could see the little signs that showed he was not in the relationship for the long haul. Those little signs had been few and far between, but she had still spotted them.

"You awake?" Jenny asked.

Tiffany nodded. "Yeah....hey, could you pull over here? I want to get a ginger ale."

******

Danielle bounced in her chair as she filled out paperwork. She knew a wonderful secret, and was dying to tell someone. Dani had tried to tell herself that it was not her place to announce such news, but the gossip in her couldn't help it.

"Dani?"

Dani jumped slightly. "What?"

Detective Anthony Cortez smiled at her. "Maybe I should ask you that question...you look like you've got a juicy secret, and you're bursting to tell someone."

Dani laughed. "Well, I suppose...as long as you don't spread it around."

Anthony looked hurt. "Have I ever spread around a rumor you've told me?" He held up his hand. "Wait, don't answer that. Besides, I don't spread them...it's the people I tell that spread them."

"Well...I don't know..."

"Come on, spill!" Anthony crouched beside her chair. "You're never gonna get any work done until you do."

Sounds logical "Guess who's pregnant?"

"Who?" Anthony asked. Please don't let it be Jenny.

Dani seemed to read the expression on his face. "Relax, it's not Jenny."

Anthony sighed. He had a rather large crush on Jennifer Hendricks, and silently hoped that she would break up with Trent Malloy. "Okay, it's not her...who then?" His eyes grew wide. "Tiffany?"

Dani nodded. "I heard her and Jenny talking about it in the washroom this morning."

"Tiffany's pregnant?!" Anthony asked again, a little too loud. Silence fell over the squad room as all looked at him. Oh, shit.

"That was suppose to be a secret!" Dani told him.

********

Carlos Sandoval dialed the telephone, waiting until someone picked it up. “Detective Chambers, please,” he said. He listened for a few moments. “Okay, thanks.” He hung up and looked at Trent Malloy.

“Not there?” he asked.

“Nope, she’s out.” Carlos leaned back in his chair. “She must be feeling better then.”

Trent smiled. “That’s good. Hey, you want to stop by the station after their shift and take them out to dinner?”

“If Tiff feels up to it, sure,” Carlos said. He picked up the phone and dialed again. “Gonna try her cell phone.”

*******

Tiffany moaned as her cellular phone rang, and she grabbed at it. “Hello?”

“Hi,” Carlos said in a warm voice. “How are you feeling?”

“Like crap,” she admitted. “But better now that you called.” She could hear Trent’s voice in the background.

“Trent wanted to know if you were up to the four of us going out to dinner tonight?” Carlos asked.

Tiffany’s stomach flip-flopped at the thought of food. “Uhh…how about I let you know later?”

“That’s okay,” Carlos said. “If you’re not feeling better, then I’ll take you home and look after you.”

Hidden innuendo dripped off of his words, causing Tiffany to blush. “That would be great,” she whispered. “And if I am feeling better?”

“Then you can look after me,” Carlos laughed.

“Jerk!” Tiffany joked. “Oh, we’re here…I’ll talk to you later.”

*********

Captain Simon Transerpt sighed as he walked by a desk. He stopped, and looked at the small basket. “What is that?”

Dani smiled up at him. “That’s for the baby.”

“What baby?”

“Tiffany and Carlos’,” she said.

Simon’s eyes grew wide. “They’re expecting?” He pulled out his wallet when Dani nodded and put a ten dollar bill in the basket. “What are you going to buy with it?”

“A plane ticket for Carlos!” someone yelled. “He’s bound to bolt sooner or later!”

*******

Tiffany sipped on her ginger ale, grimaced, then put the lid back on and shook it. She opened it again and took another sip. “That’s better.”

Jenny pulled out of the parking lot. “You want to stop by a doctor? Make sure there’s nothing wrong?”

“Maybe I should,” Tiffany agreed. “I think there’s a clinic a few streets over.”

“Got it.” Jenny turned at the corner.

******

Trent Malloy put the phone down, and looked at his business partner thoughtfully. "Hey."

Carlos looked up from the newspaper. "What?"

"That was Anthony Cortez." He motioned to the phone.

"Okay," Carlos replied, "you're point being...?"

"He asked me," Trent paused to clear his throat. "Uhh...well,..." Trent scratched his head, not knowing how to word what he had to say.

Carlos looked arched an eyebrow at him. "Having trouble speaking today, Trent?" He smiled, amused. "Try breathing...in, out, in, out," Carlos said as he breathed. "Like that." He laughed.

"Carlos...I think you better sit down for this one."

"Why?" Carlos asked in a worried tone. "Is everything all right?"

"I'm not sure," Trent admitted. "Anthony called to see if I knew when the baby was due." He soundly slightly confused.

"Whose baby?"

"Yours."

Carlos stared at him. "Come again?" He shook his head. "I'm sorry...I must have heard you wrong."

"That's what he asked."

Carlos squirmed slightly in his seat. "My baby..." A look of astonishment crossed his face as he bolted upright. "My baby!?....Oh, God! That's why Tiff's sick today!?"

"You mean you didn't know about this?" Trent asked.

"Of course not!" Carlos' voice cracked.

*****

"Well?" Jenny asked as Tiffany walked out of the doctor's office.

Tiffany breathed slowly. "Seems that I have to stay away from King's Chicken Palace." eat there?" She opened the door and walked to the car. "No wonder you're sick...that place is Ptomaine Central."

"So I found out," Tiffany replied as she got in the car. "Doc says to take it easy for the rest of the day."

"Wanna head back, and see if Cap'll put you on a desk?"

Tiffany nodded. "Sounds like a plan."

********

Dani smiled as someone added more money to the growing amount in the basket on her desk. She reached out for the phone as it rang. "Precinct..." she stopped as the other person talked. "Oh, hi, Carlos! No, she's not here....uh-huh, yeah, sure....I'll get her to call you as soon as I see her." She paused. "Oh, and congratulations....Daddy."

******

Carlos stared at the phone. "She called me Daddy," he whispered. "Oh, God." He hung up, turned away, and turned back just as quickly. He picked up the phone again. "Gonna try her cell again."

Trent smiled in support as Carlos waited. He knew that, although Carlos would make a wonderful father, it might be as an absent one. Commitment and Carlos did not mix well.

Carlos looked at him, panic building inside of him. "She's not....Tiff?!" He said as the phone was finally answered.

"Hi!" Tiffany's voice said. "You've reached Tiffany Chambers. Please leave your name, number, and message at the tone."

Carlos sighed as he waited for the beep. "Tiff, it's me...call me as soon as you get this message....it's extremely important."

"You'e taking this a lot calmer than I thought you would," Trent commented as Carlos hung the phone up.

"Until I hear it from her own sweet lips, then I'm not gonna panic." Carlos put his head on the desk. "I'm not ready to get married."

Trent looked at his, shocked. "Married?"

Carlos raised his head. "Yeah, married." He sat up in his chair. "If, and when I have children, I want to be able to be there for them, 24 - 7. Day in, day out. I don't want to be a weekend father."

"I didn't know you thought that way."

"Sometimes I surprise even myself," Carlos sighed.

"You know, you don't really have to get married to be there for your child," Trent pointed out. "Lots of families today are single parent households." He paused. "And, by saying that you're not ready for marriage shows that you're a lot more ready for it than you think."

"Don't speak in riddles today, please!" Carlos begged.

Trent smiled. "Sorry...what I meant was...because the thought of marriage crossed your mind,..."

"Stop right there," Carlos said as he stood. "You're treading in dangerous waters."

"Sorry," Trent said as he tried to hide his smile.

*********

Jenny passed over the styrofoam cup as she got back into the car. "Here ya go," she said. "Luke warm...just like you ordered."

"Thanks." Tiffany took a sip of the tea and grimaced. "Geeze! How much sugar did you put in this?"

"Three or four teaspoons," Jenny replied as she started the car and pulled into traffic. "Too much?"

Tiffany nodded. "I never put sugar in my tea."

Jenny glanced at her. "This from a person who adds five spoons of sugar to her coffee?"

"Coffee's different," Tiffany said as she placed the cup on the dashboard. "Besides, it's only four I add, not..."

Her words were cut off as a car shot out in front of them at an intersection.

"Jesus!" Tiffany hissed as Jenny slammed on the brakes. She put out her hand as the cup started to slide off the dash, but only succeded in grabbing air. The tea spilled out of the cup and landed straight on her lap. "Shit!"

Jenny grimaced as some of the tea splashed on her shirt. "Aw, damn it! I just had this drycleaned!" She glanced at her partner as she turned on the siren and lights. "Get burned?"

Tiffany shook her head as Jenny started driving. "Get that son of a bitch!" she said as she tried to pick the wet material from her skin.

"I plan on."

*********


Jenny's Story

Tiffany watched as the door shut behind Jenny. She sat down, put her feet up on the desk and leaned back in her chair. She wondered briefly if she should call Trent, since this was the lowest she had seen Jenny in the past few months. Not even when Jenny and Trent had broken up, had she been this low.

“I gotta get those two back together,” Tiffany mumbled to herself.

“Talking to yourself again?” Detective Ryan said from behind. “They say that’s the first sign of senility.”

“Then you must have some wonderful conversations with yourself, Dick,” Tiffany replied as she brought her feet back to the floor. “You want something?”

“Where’s Jenny?” Ryan asked. “I need her to type these up.” He tossed a rather large file onto the desk.

Tiffany picked up the file and handed it back to him. “Detective Hendricks is not your secretary, Dick. You want it typed, either do it yourself, or get someone from the typing pool.” She smiled up at him sweetly. “Now, if you will excuse me, I have work to do.”

Ryan sighed in aggravation and stormed away as Tiffany picked up the phone and dialed.

“Hi…it’s Tiff,” she said into the receiver. “Can you meet me in about one hour?” She listened for a few moments. “Okay…I’ll meet you there…bye.”

*******

“---a phone call from her parents,” Tiffany said. “It upset her somehow, but she won’t tell me about it.”

Trent Malloy rubbed his hand along his chin. “That doesn’t sound like Jenny.”

“I was hoping that maybe you could talk to her,” Tiffany continued. “She might open up to you.”

“I’m not sure…we, uh, don’t exactly talk much these days.” Trent nodded as the waitress offered a coffee refill. He waited until she left before he spoke again. “She’s been avoiding me.”

Tiffany rolled her eyes at him. “Well, d-uh…of course she’s been avoiding you. Last time she saw you, you were in a lip lock with what’s-her-name.”

“Her name is Carly,” Trent answered in a cool voice. “You don’t like her, do you?”

“Not like a woman who shows up drunk at a party, then hits on my date?” Tiffany asked.

“She wasn’t hitting on Carlos.”

“When some chickie runs her hand along my boyfriend’s behind, she’s hitting on him.” Tiffany leaned back in her chair. “But that’s not what I asked you here for. Will you call Jenny?”

Trent took a sip of his coffee as he considered. “Yeah…I’ll give her a call.”

*******


I found it in my saved mail......I think I'll transfer it to disk, since we seem to misplace it alot! LOL..and, I'm clearing up some space in my mail box.

Lill

Allrighty!! Here's what I have of part 4 so far.(I added it to the end of the story, and changed some of it around a bit.) It's not much, but I didn;t know whatdirection you wanted to go in. If you are going to add Gage and Sidney to the story, could you make is so Sidney and Tiffany don;t like each other.

Lill

Uncovered 1/? By: Jenny and Lillandra

Jennifer Hendricks frowned as she looked through the file that Tiffany Chambers gave her.

"Wow! Boy, Dick gave us a big file." She read a bit of it. "Cops go undercover as strippers to stop one of the New York and Dallas’ Top Drug Dealers." Jenny looked at Tiffany. "He doesn't really expect us to go undercover...does he?"

Tiff was about to answer when Richard Ryan interrupted. "No Det. Hendricks, what I want is for you to go over that file tonight...then, you will be going undercover as the...ahmm...stripper." Ryan said then walked straight out the room, passing Anthony Cortez as he entered.

"What was that about?" Cortez asked.

"Oh god..." Jenny said, not really believing what she had just heard.

"What? Tiff what's going on?"

"Ryan wants Jenny to go undercover as a stripper." Tiff sighed.

Cortez had to smile. "Really? I'm looking forward the seeing you in action Jenny."

Jenny looked at him, eyes wide, then grabbed a glass and threw it at him as he ran out laughing.

"GET OUT, CORTEZ!!!" Jenny screamed as Tiff covered her ears.

"Come on Jenny, it can't be THAT bad!" Tiff said to calm her down.

Jenny looked at her and saw a flicker of amusement on her face. "Not when you practically have to get naked in front of men!? I'm going to Butch's!"

Jenny grabbed her jacket, the "stripper" file and stalked out of the room as Tiff burst out laughing.

********* Uppercuts Bar

Jenny slumped into a chair at a table near the bar and opened the file. Butch, who saw Jenny's sadness and came over.

"Hey Jenny, what's wrong?" Butch asked, sitting down.

"Nothing Butch, it's just, just..." she sighed "Ryan wants me to go undercover as a stripper and I...it's everything, everyone is taking this as a big joke...Trent is off with that bitch of a girlfriend of his...my whole family's fighting again...." She stopped and looked down.

Butch started to chuckle but could see Jenny wasn't in the mood. "Jenny...going undercover is not what's bother you, is it? It's Trent."

"No....yes...I don't know...ever since we broke up, my mind has been on a lot of things and my heart feels like its been crumbled in two."

"Well, this might not mean much, but I know how you feel. I had a woman, but she ran off for another man." Butch smiled softly. "But Jenny, you need to learn to move on."

"I've tried Butch, but none of it's working, I even tried to go out with Cortez, but I can't help it. I still love Trent...and if I ever see that woman Carly... or whatever the hell her name is, I will hurt her!"

Butch laughed. "Well, you and Tiff both." He stood. "What would you like to drink?"

"A beer."

Butch left to get the beer just as Trent walked through the door with his girlfriend. Jenny groaned and looked at her file so she wouldn't have to look at Trent, or 'what’s-her-face.' Trent took in Jenny in a glance, frowning at the intense concentration on her face. He went to the bar to get a beer for him and Carly.

"Hey Butch...the usual," Trent said.

"Hey Trent, here you are," Butch replied, handing him two mugs of beer.

"Hey, what's wrong with...Jenny."

Butch looked at him. "Ryan wants her to go undercover as a stripper to stop some drug dealers," Butch said quietly, so Carly couldn't hear...but she did.

"A STRIPPER!" she said loud enough for everyone to hear.

Jenny's head snapped up and she looked at Butch who, now, had his head down.

Carly sauntered over to Jenny, laughing like a braying donkey. "A stripper?! Oh man...do I feel sorry for you!" She laughed aloud.

Jenny looked at her calmly. "What do you want, Carly?" Jenny asked coolly.

"Nothing...just to tell you that you don't need anything to be a stripper, because you're already a slut!"

Jenny looked at her then got up. "Oh, really?"

"Really."

"Well here's something from 'slut' girl!" Jenny picked up her mug of beer and threw the contents into Carly's face.

Carly blinked in astonishment. "You...YOU!"

Jenny smiled as she gathering her folder, purse and jacket. "Lost for words Carly?"

Jenny walked off, but not before sending a glare in Butch's and Trent's direction.

*************

"And he didn't say anything to her?"

Jenny flopped down on Tiffany's couch and shook her head. "Nope. He just stood there like the jerk he is." She reached for another slice of pizza, and took a bite. "I mean...he could have at least..." she trailed off and took another bite.

"Could have at least what?" Tiffany asked as she grabbed a slice. "Could have at least defended you?"

"Well…yeah."

"You're right," Tiffany said. "But I guess he didn't want to upset 'Little Miss Carly.'"

"I'd like to upset Little Miss Carly," Jenny muttered. "With a left hook, followed by a right cross."

"Temper, temper," Tiff said in a humorous voice. "You're not going to do yourself any good by being brought up on assault charges."

"I'll take my chances," Jenny replied through clenched teeth.

*****

Carly looked at Trent as he drove. "What's wrong, sweetie?"

"Nothing." Trent pulled over in front of her apartment building.

"Nothing?" Carly asked. "You've been moody all night."

Trent finally looked at her. "All right…I don't like the way you talked to Jenny tonight."

"Oh, really." Her face set in a frown. "And I don't like the way you always take me to places you know she's going to be."

Trent sighed to himself. "I didn't know Jen was going to be there."

"I bet. I can't go through a week without running into her, or that skank Tiffany."

"Tiffany is not a skank, Carly." His fingers tightened around the steering wheel in an attempt to calm himself. "She's a good friend of mine…who happens to be dating my partner."

"So."

"So, you're bound to run into her from time to time."

"You don't care!" Carly cried, her voice a deliberate whine.

Trent's fingers tightened further…he hated that whine. "Look, can we discuss this tomorrow?"

"Oh…fine." Carly pouted. "Are you coming up?"

"I have a busy day tomorrow," Trent tried to explain. "I better get going." Carly glared at him. "Well…that's your loss." She got out of the car, slammed the door, and stormed to the apartment building.

*****

Carlos sighed as he watched Tiffany pace her living room floor. "What now?" "Same as usual," Tiffany answered. She stopped walking. "Well. Maybe not the usual…but the usual for women."

"Uhhhh…" Carlos cleared his throat. "Of course, you're right."

Tiffany looked at him, and laughed. "Not that, ya nut…you don't have to agree with everything I say."

Carlos drew his hand across his brow in an exaggerated sigh of relief.

"Not for another week," Tiffany added, then laughed at the uncomfortable look on Carlos' face. "No…what's bugging me is the attitude of your best bud."

"Whoa…hold it right there." Carlos held up a hand. "What Trent does…and who he does it with, is none of my business…yours either."

"It's my business if it makes my partner so confused that she can't think straight," Tiffany said as she sat beside him on the couch. "That wench he's dating,"

"Carly."

"Carly, is a loud mouthed bitch." She proceeded to tell him what Jenny had told her about the events at Uppercuts.

Carlos whistled softly. "That is one uncouth chick." He ran a finger along her leg. "I mean…I hope that I would at least defend you if anything like that happened."

"Hope that you would at least?" Tiffany frowned at him. "Carlos, dear…if anything like that happened, you better pray to God that you would defend me." She smiled sweetly. "And do you know why?"

"Because I'm a great human being?" Carlos asked hopefully. "Or, because you'd kill me if I didn't."

"Bingo, Sweet-cheeks." Tiffany leaned to him and started to kiss the side of his face.

*****

Jenny jumped as her name was called, and went to the front desk. "I'm Jennifer Sampson."

The man behind the desk smiled as he looked her up and down. "Yeah…you'll do just fine." He reached behind the desk for a camera. "Stand over there," he pointed, "and I'll get a few shots for the boss."

Jenny suppressed a shudder as she walked the wall. She endured the pictures being taken, then went back to the desk. "Let's see your I.D.," the man said. "Gotta make sure yer legal to work in this country."

Jenny handed over her faked identification. "How soon before I start?"

"Gotta get hired first, babe," the man said as he copied down her information.

"Okay…now ya gotta show me your stuff." He pointed to a doorway. "The stage's in there…get into yer outfit, and show me what ya got."

*********

As soon as she got into the room, Jenny shut the door. "Dancing...I have to dance."

I'm going to kill Ryan!Jenny thought to herself as she checked the room for cameras. She then picked up her cell phone and called Tiffany, who was at Uppercuts with Trent, Carlos, and Butch.

"Hello?" Tiffany said into the phone.

"Hey, it's me...I’m in," Jenny said.

"Excellent...uh Jenny, I talked to Walker and he wants..."

"To send someone undercover...right?"

"Yeah."

"So who's the lucky guy? It better not be Gage, Trivette or Carlos!"

"Trivette's coming."

"Well at least Trent ain’t."

Tiffany smiled, she just told a lie. "Well, in two days Trivette will be there."

"Alright...I gotta go...dance."

Tiffany laughed. "Bye."

*******

"That's right babe you got the moves...oh yeah!" the manager said as he moved along with the music. "Oh yeah!"

OH GOD! Jenny thought as she swung around the pole, threw her head back, then kicked her foot in the air.

The manager clapped his hands. "You got the job, babe."

Jenny smiled as she shook his hand. "Thank you, sir."

"I just need to tell ya somethin' first. In two nights there's gonna be a…thing and I think your ready to show your moves off to everyone."

"Alright."

*********

"Are you guys sure about this?" Trent asked as he put on his black leather jacket.

"Of course, Trent,” Tiffany answered. “You’re going undercover, and you'll be helping Jenny, too."

"What about Trivette?"

"I told her a lie...now come on. Are you going?"

"Yeah buddy?" Carlos replied with a smile. “Gonna go give all the ladies a chance to admire your…moves?”

Trent rolled his eyes. "Shaddup. Give me the I.D. so I can go.”

********

Jenny looked at the door as it slowly opened. A petite blonde woman poked her head in. “Jennifer Sampson?”

Jenny nodded. “That’s me.”

The woman entered. “My name is Clarice Winder. I am in charge of getting the girls in shape for their debut.”

Jenny smiled. “Oh. So, what do I have to do?”

Clarice turned back to the door and opened it. “Come with me.”

******

Trent suppressed a shudder as he shook his new boss’ hand. “You start today,” the man said. “On ladies night, you dance…the rest of the time you bounce…make sure no one gets to familiar with the strippers…or certain parts of the club.”

“What parts?” Trent asked.

The man paused. “We cater to a certain clientele…one that would get upset if recognized by others.”

“Ahh, of course.” Trent nodded in understanding. He glanced up as music filtered in from an adjoining room.

The man smiled. “The girls are practicing. Go take a look…get it outta your system before you start. Nothing worse than a bouncer with a stiffy in the middle of a show.”

Trent tried not to let his disgust at the man show on his face. “Right,” he mumbled as he set off for the source of the music.

*******

“Smile,” Carlos whispered as he took a picture with his camera. He moved slightly, took a few pictures of scenery, then went back to his intended target. The man on the park bench paid him no attention.

The man soon got up, and walked towards a path that would take him to a flower garden. Carlos stayed where he was; knowing that another person would pick up the trail. No sense tempting fate and have him spot me. Carlos took one last picture of the New York Drug King, and then walked away in the opposite direction.

*****

Jenny arched her back as she placed her hands on the floor behind her. She glanced up as someone entered the room, then collapsed to the floor. Jenny jumped to her feet, and gaped at the newest arrival.

Clarice looked at her with suspicion. “Problems?”

“Uh…no.” Jenny tore her gaze away from Trent’s face. “I didn’t know I was on display today. He startled me.”

Trent smiled in apology. “Sorry…I started today…I’m the new bouncer.”

I am gonna KILL you, Tiff!!! Jenny thought as she tried not to stare at the form fitting jeans Trent was wearing.

“I’m Trent Hendricks.”

What?! How dare you!!! Jenny forced herself not to launch at his face and tear his eyes out. How DARE you use my last name??!!! You prick!!!

Trent glanced away from the anger in Jenny’s eyes. He hadn’t wanted to use his former lover’s last name, but Tiffany had insisted on it. He turned back to the two women and smiled. “Sorry to have disturbed you.” He nodded slightly, and walked back out the door.

*******