221 Beta

Copyright Skye Knizley, 2015

May not be shared or used without prior permission

*This is a story I started, sort of my take on two iconic characters.  You might recognize some traits applied to a current character in my upcoming release.  Enjoy.*

Chapter One

Locke opened her eyes and stared at the sleeping blonde woman laying opposite her beneath the black satin sheet of her King sized bed. Instantly her traitor mind kicked in and she took in the smear of Shanghai Express lipstick across the woman’s porcelain cheek, the satisfied smile across her lips and the smell of coitous that clung to the air like warm, sticky mold. Locke groaned inwardly and rolled over, trying to remember where she’d been the night before. Visions of the Night Shift Pub danced through her fogged memory, along with Jackie getting frustrated and leaving sometime around one in the morning. The rest of the night was a blur of kisses, cuddling and… other things she’d rather not contemplate.

The slender brunette sighed and slipped from the covers, pulling on a black dressing gown as she moved. She did her best to ignore the piles of clothing that led from the door of her flat to the kitchen and finally into the bedroom; her photographic memory cataloged everything and filed it away regardless of her efforts.

Locke stopped in the bathroom to wash the caked makeup from her face, wincing at the traces of the other woman’s lipstick on her face and the love bite on her neck.

“Why couldn’t I be addicted to morphine like great grandfather or booze like dad?” She asked her reflection. “But no, I have to bring strange people back to my bed and then remember them forever. Thanks, dad.”

She was just dabbing bacitracin on her neck when she heard the door to the flat open. Locke inhaled the aroma of fine Columbian coffee and recognized the clomp of Jackie’s combat boots as she crossed the hallway to the bedroom.

“Oi, sleeping beauty!” Jackie called in her British accent. “Let’s go, Miss, your job is done, time to get up and get out!”

Locke ignored the argument that followed and busied herself with a quick shower. When she was done she wrapped her gown back around herself and returned to the living room. Jackie was sitting on the sofa, her legs crossed and a Starbucks cup in her hand. Another sat on the side table, steam drooling from the vent in the top. Jackie was dressed like a SWAT team member in a black battle dress uniform and combat boots. Locke knew that a Glock G20 was holstered on her right hip and a knife was sheathed on her left.   For all her skills, the one Jackie lacked was a sense of style.

“Good morning, Holmes,” Jackie drawled, pulling a strand of hair behind her ear.

“G’morning, Watson,” Locke replied, reaching for the cup and sipping cautiously from the black brew within. She smacked her lips and smiled at her friend. “Black Columbian with an espresso shot. I take it this isn’t a social call.”

“I’m afraid not, Holmes,” Jackie replied. “While you were bumping uglies with the captain of the cheerleading squad I got a call from Agent Hopkins. They have a body at the morgue down in Memphis. They would like us to take come down and take a look.”

Locke sipped her coffee and arched an eyebrow. “A body? That is unusual. They typically call us in to examine a crime scene and locate the clues that they missed.”

Jackie nodded and sipped from her own coffee.

“Indeed. I thought it was odd as well,” she said. “That’s why I came here straightaway.”

“Well, let me finish my coffee and get dressed and we’ll be about it, shall we?” Locke asked with a smile.

“Try to dress like an adult this time,” Jackie replied.

“You have no room to talk, Watson.   You dress like you are still in SWAT.”

Jackie smiled and the two women sat in silence, savoring the strong brew and a friendship that transcended time.

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