Categories > TV > Cold Case > Wandering Mind0 Reviews
Chris thinks about her relationship with Scotty after she leaves Philly
Chris was feeling edgy, her second day without lighting up. Buying smokes wasn't cheap, and she wasn't exactly living the good life. She stared at the cramped little hole in the wall generously called an apartment, and shuddered. It reminded her of the dumps the Rush women lived in during her childhood years, and she couldn't help but compare it to the apartment Scotty had let her share with him. No one was talking the Ritz, but it was nice. It felt like home.
She perched on the table, remembering. She could picture it in her mind. The furniture was modern, white, but real comfy. Scotty always kept it neat since he took pride in his place, even though he spent more time at work than there. It was the home he'd shared with Elisa, but they'd both made a point of skipping that. Sure, he'd talk about Elisa occasionally, but mostly about funny stuff when they were kids, or the last few months of her life, when they barely crossed paths. He always was careful not to talk about the romantic side of things. Either he figured she couldn't handle it, or it was something private Scotty wasn't about to share with somebody like the rebound chick.
Not that she was bitching. Not then, not now. Scotty was the best thing to come into her life since ever, and she'd take him however she got him. If certain subjects were off limits, if he made a point of never inviting her to tag along when he went to family dinners, and if she always woke up alone, that was cool. She was flexible, and didn't mind space. Besides, there were a thousand other things he did to make up for it.
He held her after sex. That was something novel. The losers she usually screwed wanted another round, beer, or sleep afterwards. He bought her thoughtful little gifts. The closest thing she'd come to that was the time Danny Ross bought her a red thong and a matching push-up bra. Scotty gave her back rubs, a job she was more familiar with. He was considerate during sex. He cared about her needs, that was new. Hands down, he was the best she'd ever had, and even though she wasn't a slut in heat the way Lil thought, she'd done her fair share of comparison shopping.
Most important, he'd defied Lil, who could deep freeze like nobody else. Oh, Chris wasn't an idiot. She knew Scotty had his own reason for the stance he took. He was a proud man, and he wasn't gonna let his partner push him around. Besides, Lilly's tactics probably pissed him off more than shamed him. Okay, so maybe it was a point of pride that he'd kept Chris around, but he was standing up for her at the same time. Motivation be damned, it meant something to her.
She thought she'd blown it to hell when she opened her big mouth about Patrick. She should have ducked Scotty's questions, she was good at that. But she felt the need to be honest, to test how far she could go. There was no way to dress up that huge, oozing pimple on her past. Sure, it hadn't been about sex, the one time her heart was on the line, but she'd still been a bitch for spreading her legs for her sister's man, no doubt about it. Still, Patrick was the one who started making the moves on her. Sure, she didn't resist, but she'd liked the guy before Lil even knew him. It was just too bad he liked his girls mysterious and aloof.
Scotty shut her down before she took the story too far. For all his tough guy ways, and I've-seen-it-done-better attitude, there was something pure in Scotty Valens. It was some corner in his heart that the screwed-up world hadn't killed, a part even he didn't have a clue existed. Chris saw it, didn't understand it, and was both afraid and comforted by it. Anyway, he didn't want to hear the dirty details, and she was pretty sure he got the picture. She'd moved out, thinking whatever Scotty and her had was over.
It turned out she was wrong. He came by the bar with flowers, cute daisies that charmed and thrilled her. He stayed through her shift, watching her work, chatting with her when she had a few minutes. They laughed and teased, and like always, Chris felt a connection that went deeper than sex. When she finished closing up, he took her to the apartment. She put her flowers in water, and then he took her back to the bedroom.
She'd never forget their lovemaking that night. He undressed her slowly, his kisses sweet, his fingers gliding over every part of her skin. When they finally got to the best part, moving together in the age-old rhythm, they were holding hands. It had never been like that between them before, as mind blowing as things had been. He was saying with his body that he needed her, that he accepted her, that her ugly as hell past didn't matter to him. Afterwards, he cuddled her against his side, and cajoled her into moving back in. She'd made token protests just for the record, and then caved.
For the next couple months, Chris was on cloud nine. Scotty's schedule didn't always match up with hers, but they made time. She remembered one night after closing, in the wee hours of the morning, they'd played 'I never.' It had been his idea, and she'd been amused. Not that she was a heavy hitter at booze like her mother, but she liked to party, and Scotty was a rookie compared to her. Still, it sounded like fun, and she was eager to see what pieces of information she could pry out of him.
That was the night she realized that she was more than a distraction to Scotty. He'd always shown her respect and consideration, but that night he really let her see something more, something real. She'd returned the favor, both afraid and excited about how much she felt for him. She was falling hard for him, something dangerous considering how everything got started.
Chris wasn't one to put out right away. Not out of morals, but out of self-preservation. Guys liked the hunt, and blew off girls that gave it up too easy. She hadn't been able to play it smart with Scotty, though. She'd had it bad for him since she first saw him, at the police station. They'd connected right away, before Lil blew in like a hurricane and ripped the fun mood to shreds.
Romance had been the last thing on Chris' mind when she came to town. All she wanted was a roof over her head, and a minimum of hassles. She'd just ditched one loser, all she wanted was some space, and time to regroup. Scotty changed her mind. She hadn't pushed, though. She made a point of bumping into him a few times, put the ball in his court via an invitation for a free beer at McGinty's. He was single; him and his girlfriend were history, why not?
He'd shown up about a month later, just when she was beginning to think he never would. When he did, it didn't take a detective to see he was in bad shape over something, but she didn't pump him for information. He'd come in three nights before he 'fessed up. His ex, the one that had been in the hospital took a dive off a bridge. He'd been defensive and miserable, and Chris treaded carefully. She sensed pity was the last thing he wanted, so just listened without saying anything except 'on the house.'
The approach worked, because he came back, and talked more. Chris never offered her two cents, never treated him funny. She concentrated instead on cheering him up, and managed to draw him out of his funk more than once.
At one point, Nick Vera, another cop showed up. He'd known Lil for years, and knew all their personal history. He was watching their interaction like a hawk, and she'd wanted to ask if he planned on taking notes. She heard him warn Scotty off, that he could do whatever he wanted, except her. Working the taps, she'd rolled her eyes. Real subtle, Vera, she'd thought. Still, his words made her smile. So, Scotty was showing signs of interest, huh? She'd thought so, but it was always nice to get another prospective.
The next night, it all fell into place. Scotty had stayed with her through her shift, and they'd got to talk about video games. Since it was something they both liked, he invited her over to play a couple rounds. Chris didn't need much encouragement. Not only did she love video games and never could get enough, but she finally had Scotty where she wanted him. She cautioned herself to play it cool, though. She'd savored the walk home in the snow, when he'd pulled her close, sharing his jacket, rubbing her arm and shoulder to keep her warm.
Hours passed, the games addictive. In between, she whipped up something simple. Unlike Lil, she was a whiz in the kitchen, and had survived on her own culinary skills for years. Scotty had been impressed, and she'd basked in his compliments, knowing that they weren't just bullshit.
Next thing she knew, they were kissing. Damn, but he was good with that tongue, and his hands were lethal. Her hormones had flared up. Greg was a dud in the sack, and it felt like forever since a guy had really satisfied her, and Scotty seemed the guy to get the job done. Her games and tricks were shoved to the side, the throb between her legs insistant. They'd gone at it on the couch, their clothes strewn around the living room. He wasn't no five minute wonder either. It had been dawn before he passed out under her, after rubbing her shoulders idly for a few minutes.
She'd faced a tough decision. She wanted to follow up with instinct, and curl her body around his, dive into sleep. She was bone tired, and she wasn't looking forward to the icy walk back to Lil's. Still, as a rule, unless men issued an invitation, it wasn't a good idea to stick around after sex. She didn't want to blow what progress she'd made with Scotty. So she sucked it up, got dressed, dashed to Lil's. It was a Saturday, so Lil would sleep in until eight, instead of her usual six-forty, and she'd never be the wiser.
It was two weeks before Chris saw Scotty again, and when she did, it felt like she was lighting up like a Christmas tree. She should have known from his expression that something was up, but was too happy. She grinned as she braved the freezing snow, warmly inviting him in, only to get turned down. Confused by the light rejection, she'd pressed a little, not worried yet, just puzzled. Then he dropped the bomb. That night was a mistake.
Trying not to be pushy, she'd fished for an explanation. He threw out a bunch of crap about Lil, and being it being a bad idea, blah, blah, blah. She had to laugh, calling him on it. Did he think she was retarded? Scotty Valens wasn't afraid of her sister, and dating a partner's relatives sure as hell wasn't against the rules. She'd brought up Elisa, thinking that was the reason. He pretty much confirmed it, and she'd backed off. A lot of things a girl could compete with, a ghost wasn't one of them. Seeking to make a graceful exit, fighting the urge to bawl her head off, she assured him that she'd be there, in case he changed his mind. She tugged on his jacket affectionately, and they ended up holding hands.
Chris started to walk back inside, telling herself she liked the guy, but it wasn't the end of the world, and maybe he'd be back. A tug on her arm forced her to a stop, and it took her a second to realize he was still holding her hand. Her heart started pounding like crazy when their eyes met. He'd said one thing, but the look he was giving her said another. The next thing she knew, he was pulling her forward, and they were kissing, and it wasn't the kiss-off.
Feeling flushed even though she was a step away from being frosty the snow woman, she pulled back. She had to play her cards right; she'd already put herself at a disadvantage. She felt more than he did, and she'd already given her a sample of her goodies. She flashed him an easy smile, and told him to stop in whenever he felt like it, the welcome mat was always out. Then she hurried back inside, not giving herself a chance to ruin the opening he'd left her.
Honestly, Lil hadn't crossed her mind one way or the other. During their late night talks in the bar, pre sex, he'd said point blank he looked at Lil like she was one of the boys, and her sister wasn't the mix work and pleasure type. They were friends, sure, but so what? Scotty insisted they keep what he and Chris had under wraps, but she thought it was a saving face thing. If it didn't work out, he didn't want it broadcast, which made sense. So, on that morning Lilly had caught her creeping in after a long night, she'd made her excuses.
Of course, Lil being no dummy, saw right through it, and Chris admitted there was someone, someone good that she could connect with. She'd been thrilled when Lilly invited her out to dinner for her birthday. It wasn't exactly letting her off the hook for knocking boots with Patrick, but it was a step in that direction. She'd even taken a night off work, and begged off a date with Scotty for the occassion. He didn't know it was her birthday; she'd made a point of not telling him. They were still on shaky ground, and the slightest pressure could send it crashing down.
It seemed like old times at dinner that night. Lilly asked her about Greg, and Chris brushed off the mention of him. She'd really dodged a bullet there. Not only did he screw like a fourteen year old, he was a little too slap happy, not to mention his scams. Not that she'd made any real money off it. But that was history, she told herself that night, feeling relaxed and comfortable around Lil for the first time in nine years. Comfortable enough to spill her guts about Scotty.
Something about Lil's laugh sent chills up her spine. It was like they were kids again, and she'd screwed up a simple job that she'd tried so hard at. When tears filled her sister's eyes, Chris knew something was seriously off. Then Lil started making this connection to Patrick, and she felt her blood run cold. Next thing she knew big sis was tossing a bitchy 'happy birthday' and some cash at her. She wasn't surprised when Lil told her to get her stuff and get lost. It was over. Forgiveness had been so close, and snatched away at the last second. She still wasn't entirely sure why hitting the sheets with Scotty had been a fatal error, but Lilly logic had always been above her head.
Well, she wasn't likely to get a pass from either Lilly or Scotty anytime soon, not now, not after her hasty exit. Damn Greg. He was just pissed she kicked his miserable ass to the curb, that she finally skipped town when he pulled a stalker routine. Sure, she'd known what he was pulling a credit card scam at the time, but she hadn't made any cash off it, and it sure as hell wasn't her idea. She wasn't the criminal mastermind type. Tough luck, since she knew she'd go down, and hard. Scotty couldn't even swallow her story without choking on it, her boyfriend.
So, she did what Chris did best, and that was look out for number 1. She'd packed her stuff, including things Scotty gave her. She had about four hundred bucks saved, since Scotty didn't make her pay rent or nothing. She didn't lift anything, though. She wasn't a thief, never had been, her one claim to morals, besides not killing anybody. She cursed at herself for the tears stinging her eyes, cursed Scotty for making her feel so much. She didn't have time for a dear John letters, no time to get sentimental either. She couldn't afford for Scotty to go chasing after her, like some lone ranger. So, she left a half-assed 'sorry' and got the hell out of dodge.
However crappy this dump was, it beat the hell out of jail. Chris remembered the night she'd spent a night in a tiny cell for disturbing the peace, surrounded by hookers. At least it had been company, and she'd been real careful not to piss any of 'em off, but the experience had taught her one thing. She couldn't handle prison, no way. She'd go nuts after a week, being told when to eat, pee, and sleep. She'd have lost Scotty anyway, she figured. He didn't seem the type to make it with a jailbird.
No point in dwelling, Chris told herself as she crawled into bed. She had to be at work in six hours, a job she'd got under the name of Rachel Winters. She idly touched the ends of her now cut hair, dyed brown. Chopping off her hair was the first step in being fugitive. Not that they'd be busting their asses to bring in someone on credit card fraud, not when they had killers and rapists to deal with.
Settling down to sleep, she grabbed a velvet red teddy bear, a gift from Scotty. After being kicked out, she'd had to dish the whole story about how Lil took her to dinner for her birthday, and how she opened her big mouth. She'd thought he'd chew her out for sure, but all he'd done was offer the welcome mat. Then two days later, he was handing her a birthday present, and told her next time, let him know so he could be on time.
There wouldn't be a next time, she thought, tears prickling her eyes, and finally, she just let down and had a good bawl. Maybe Lil was right. Maybe she did ruin everything she touched. Well, what could she say? She was just a chip off the old block.