Seeking Solace Amidst The Chaos
Ceridwyn2

Squirrelled away in a corner of the pub, Detective Superintendent Julie Dodson sat with a glass of wine in her hand and surveyed the joint syndicate teams after a successful day of tightening the noose, as it were, around Joe Bevin. The sadistic psychopath had physically and sexually tortured seven males, including his own son, as well as being involved in the death of his eldest daughter, Sheila. It was one of the worst cases of serial murder she had ever seen. Julie shivered slightly before taking a drink of her wine. Looking up, she smiled as her long-time friend and colleague, DCI Gill Murray, approached armed with another bottle of red wine, and a couple of shots of what looked like whiskey.

"Cheers. You look like you need this as much as I do," Gill said as she set the shots down in front of them; the whiskey was downed quickly and she looked over at Julie.

"We've done good. Tomorrow's another day and hopefully we can get a full confession out of Joe."

"He's a right smarmy bastard. Anyway, on to something else, I probably shouldn't tell you this but the Assistant Chief Con is going to be tasking Professional Standards to see who the mole is that's been leaking information to the press. Have you got any ideas?" Julie was circling the bottom of her wine glass, trying to think about who it could be, and the punishment that they would receive. Given the irritation that the mole had caused the Assistant Chief Constable during the press conferences. Julie was expecting the punishment to be quick and severe; a demotion or transfer at the least. "I'm not sure. I've got the IT department scanning incoming and outgoing emails for any known media connections."

"Zalinski's got her sergeant working on finding out who the reporter is that's getting the the information on Helen Bartlett." Julie took a drink of her wine as she tried to settle herself into a relaxed mode, though having a room full of subordinates around meant she couldn't fully relax. "We find him, we find the link to our mole." Finishing off her glass, she looked over at Gill. "The bottle's not opened yet. How about we take this back to mine and flake out?"

"Right. Sounds fantastic. I'll call for a taxi." Gill stood and dug through her purse for her mobile, and finding it, she called for a ride. She smiled back at her friend. "That's it, done. Come on." Holding her hand out, she grabbed Julie's hand, pulling her into a standing position. It was only when they were half-way to Julie's flat, that she realized that she was still holding the other woman's hand; the relaxed hold felt comfortable and she realized she didn't want to let go. Gill only released Julie's hand out of necessity, when she had to extract a few notes from her purse to pay the driver.

Julie opened the door to her flat, and dropped her coat and bag just inside the door before she kicked off her heels on the mat. No doubt she'd wonder where she'd put them later, but for the moment, her feet were killing her. "I need to run to the loo. Make yourself comfortable. You know where the wine glasses are." She headed up to the bathroom on first floor and returned several minutes later, make-up removed and looking more relaxed. "Good, you've gotten a head start. Bring in the glasses and the bottle," Julie said as she headed into the sitting room, turning on the stereo. The local news was just finishing, re-airing the press-conference with herself and the Assistant Chief Con. She flicked it over to the CD player, randomly selecting a CD that was already in there. The slow sound of jazz emanated from the speakers, the sultry voice causing her to smile as she headed back to the settee.

"Cheers to another good day," Gill said as she retook Julie's hand in one of her own and clinked glasses with the other.

Julie smiled widely. "We're a great team, you and me." They sat side by side, feet up on the coffee table, and leaning against each other.

"That we are." Gill felt the thumb of Julie's hand rubbing against the back of her hand and the electric feel that followed. Slightly turning, she met the other woman's eyes and with wordless assent, leaned in, pressing their lips together. After a few moments passed, they separated, slightly stunned but continuing to stare at each other.

"Wow. I've been wanting to do that for a while. Just had resigned myself to it never happening."

"And?" Gill asked, a grin easing across her face.

"And now? Come here," Julie said as she wrapped her hand around the back of Gill's neck, drawing her into more kisses, each getting progressively more intense and deeper until they had to come up for air. Once the passionate fog had cleared her brain, she asked, "Wait, you're not surprised? Uncomfortable?"

"Uhm, no. I kissed you first, remember?" Gill laughed, the genuine sound comforting her friend.

"Yeah, I guess." Julie took a moment to take a sip of her wine. "Perhaps we ought to switch to water." She was nervous and trying to think of something to do other than think about the fact that she had just snogged one of her best friends. Why, at fifty years of age, did she suddenly feel like a teenager? She blew out a breath of air before picking up the wine glasses and headed to the kitchen. Running the tap to get it nice and cold, she held a tumbler underneath, filled it, then downed the water rather quickly. She barely felt, until it was too late, Gill's arm wrapping around her waist. The other woman's body leaning into her back.

"It's fine. Whatever this is. I'm okay with that. However we want to take it." Gill wanted to reassure Julie that she was serious about being okay with a change in their friendship. "We don't have to do anything more just yet, just take each day as it comes."

Julie turned round and wrapped her arms around Gill's waist. "You're being a lot more mature and self-aware than most people I know."

"It's life. Things change. I've known you longer than I knew my louse of a husband. And the only good thing I got out of that was our son...who by the way is starting training with the GMP's Training School," Gill said with no small amount of pride in her voice.

"At first I was dead set against it, but he won me round. I'm happy for him."

"That's great news!" Julie said as she moved her arms up around Gill's neck, drawing her in to a hug. "Thank you."

"For?"

"Being you." Drawing back, Julie quickly pecked a kiss on Gill's lips. "Come on, let's hit the sack. Your room's all set up as usual. We've got a long day ahead of us tomorrow."

"Goodnight," Gill said as she approached the door of the bedroom she always used when she stayed the night. She held fast to Julie's hand and kissed her passionately once more before turning in for the night. "Good dreams."

"You cheeky sod. If I spend half the night awake because of that kiss, I'm blaming you."

"It's what I'm here for." Gill laughed before she quickly ducked into her room.


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