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Date in Calendar: 16 June 2007
Fandom: Karen Sisco
Summary: The two women set off on a trip of a lifetime, but a mysterious death becomes the focal point of their romantic vacation.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DD07
Disclaimer: Karen Sisco and its all characters are property of Jersey Television. No infringement intended.
Author's Note 1: Written for the FemSlash Advent Calendar::Dog Days of Summer 2007
Author's Note 2: Thanks to AJ and Jenn for the opportunity to participate in this year’s calendar and for all the hard work you put in to make the calendar so successful time after time.
Special Thanks: To Debbie for the beta and lovely suggestions but, mostly, for her infinite patience as she gently guides me to become a better writer.
Sipping from a glass of wine, Karen looked out the window of the plane and smiled. Marley was dozing next to her, their fingers entwined as they sat comfortably in first class. Nothing could be better than this.
Marshal Sisco had surprised his daughter with an all-expense paid vacation to Kamalame City, a remote, private island in the Bahamas, and Karen had jumped at the chance to get out of Miami and away from the demands of their jobs. Of course, most of the trip actually came courtesy of a friend of her dad’s, but Marshal Sisco had, somehow, managed to bump them up to first class. For once, Karen didn’t turn down the offer; she was very grateful to have the time alone with her lover.
The past few months had been difficult for both of them. Karen was involved in an intense investigation involving both the marshal’s office and the DEA, and the only time she’d come home was to sleep. Marley had been very understanding and accommodating, but Karen had become resentful of not spending time with the detective. The marshal frowned when she recalled her behavior during the last month of the case; instead of taking her frustration out on her colleagues, she’d taken it out on Marley.
A groggy-sounding voice broke through Karen’s musings, and she turned towards the source.
“Hey, what’s with the gloomy look? We’re supposed to be on vacation.”
Karen smiled at her lover and reached over to push a loose strand of red hair behind Marley’s ear. “Sorry, I was just woolgathering. I promise to think of only happy thoughts from here on out.”
Leaning forward, Marley gently kissed her lover, and then lay back in the seat, content that everything was once again okay. Karen placed her head on Marley’s shoulder and closed her eyes. A week alone together was just what the couple needed.
On landing, a taxi was waiting to drive the pair twenty miles to their private villa. The friendly driver acted as a tour guide along the way, pointing out landmarks and detailing the various activities that would be available at the resort. Both women looked forward to snorkeling in the clear blue water, not to mention the moonlit walks on the beach.
A ferry ride took them directly to the island and, after securing their key, the driver headed for their villa, insisting on carrying their luggage inside. When Marley offered the man a tip, he just smiled and assured the detective that everything had been taken care. As he climbed into his car, Marley wrapped her arms around her lover, and the couple watched him drive away.
“What kind of connections does your dad have anyway?”
Chuckling, Karen turned in her lover’s arms. “I’m always afraid to ask. Let’s just enjoy the lap of luxury for a change. I’d say we deserved it, wouldn’t you?”
Marley’s reply was a sizzling kiss and, without ever releasing Karen’s lips, the detective walked the marshal backwards in the direction she hoped was the bedroom.
The next morning, the couple awakened, refreshed, and ready to go. They’d enjoyed an afternoon of lovemaking, followed by a walk on the beach. After retiring to bed early, Karen instigated another round of loving, with the pair falling asleep in each other’s arms.
“Hey, what do you say we try a bit of snorkeling today?” Marley asked her lover as they sat at the breakfast table, looking out at the beautiful blue water.
“What about equipment?”
“There was a sign on the desk in the office where we picked up the key, stating that equipment was available through them.”
As she made her way through to the kitchen sink to rinse off their breakfast dishes, Marley smiled as she heard the excitement in Karen's reply.
“Well, what are we waiting for? Come on; get your ass in gear, Novak.”
Marley chuckled and turned to reply to her lover, but Karen had already left the room. Using her long strides, she hurried to the bedroom to see which bathing suit the marshal had packed.
“The black one? Why couldn’t you have brought the red one?”
Karen pulled up the straps of her suit, tugging it left and right and up and down until everything was in its proper place. “Because I didn’t want to scare the fish.”
“Oh honey, you wouldn’t have scared them. Made them horny, maybe, but you definitely wouldn’t have frightened them.”
“You’re just biased, Marley. Besides, I didn’t want to entice them to nibble on me.”
“Hey, nobody gets to nibble on you but me!”
“C’mon, Red. Get a move on before all the snorkeling equipment is checked out.”
Karen moved towards the door and turned around to see her lover stepping out of her robe. Grinning, she walked from the room, calling back, “I did bring my red one. I thought I’d wear it out by the pool.”
Marley almost tripped stepping into her one-piece suit as visions of Karen in her very skimpy, red bathing suit suddenly filled her thoughts, but the vision soon changed to other guests getting sneak peaks as well.
“Karen, you’re not wearing that suit out of this villa!”
The marshal let out a laugh; she hadn’t even packed the suit.
Gliding along in the smooth, blue waters, the couple slowly kicked their fins, stopping occasionally to point out something to the other. The coral reef and the bright fish were abundant everywhere they swam. Making one last pass around the deeper edges of the reef, Marley spotted something out of place and motioned for Karen to fully surface.
Pulling the snorkel out of her mouth, the detective said, “I think there’s a body down there.”
“A body; it looks like it’s caught on the reef.”
The pair refitted their snorkels in their mouths and swam a few feet to the right. Marley scanned the area and quickly found the spot she’d seen earlier. She pointed down and to the left; Karen followed her lover’s finger and immediately zoomed in on the out of place anomaly. It was most definitely a body.
Karen and Marley sat on a large rock at the edge of the beach, watching the Andros Town police diving team pull the body from the water in silence. Each woman had put on a pair of shorts and a tank top over their suits as they waited for the authorities to question them. Marley squeezed the hand she held when a wail was heard from the crowd; both women knew the sound well. It was the cry of someone who’d just found out they'd lost a loved one.
The police captain motioned the women forward, and Marley stood, pulling her lover up with her. The pair slowly made their way towards the policeman and the body. A man stood to the side crying and nodding in answer to the questions he was being asked but, every now and then, his gaze would shift towards the body of the dead woman.
“Good day, ladies. I understand that you found the body?”
“Yes, we were just enjoying a morning of snorkeling,” Marley answered, motioning to their gear sitting on the ground nearby.
“Ah, the reef’s beautiful, isn’t it?”
The captain looked at Karen, waiting for her to answer, but the marshal was looking at the body, trying to determine how the woman had died.
“Huh? Oh, sorry. Hmm, yes, the reef is gorgeous, but it tends to loose some of its beauty when death surrounds it.”
“Yes, yes. My, uh, colleague informs me that you two work in law enforcement.”
Marley nodded. “That’s correct. Have you established a cause of death?”
“We believe that the young woman dove down for some reason and got caught in the coral. There was quite a bit of seaweed wrapped around her neck.”
“Where was the husband?” Karen asked, nodding towards the man in question.
“He said he slept in this morning. He had a bit of a headache last night. He didn’t even know his wife had left the villa. Such a sad tragedy for the young man; they were on their honeymoon.”
Karen looked back at the body and frowned. Why would a young bride leave her husband and go out snorkeling alone?
“Well, I thank you for alerting authorities so quickly and for keeping things as quiet as possible until we arrived.”
“No problem, we’re just sorry something like this happened.” Marley replied with a sad smile.
The two women waited around for a few more minutes before deciding to return to their villa. Neither had the energy, or the inclination, to continue their snorkeling adventure, at least not for today and, more than likely, not the next day either.
Marley headed straight for the kitchen, and Karen took their things out on the back porch. The villa was equipped with an outside sink where guests could rinse out their bathing suits and other gear. Karen placed the fins, snorkels, and masks in the sink and turned on the tap to rinse off the salt water of the ocean before placing them out on the railing to dry.
When she returned to the house, Marley was waiting for her with two cold beers in hand. Smiling, Karen joined her lover as the pair sat quietly sipping their beer and watching the ocean from the couch facing the large bay window.
“It’s so sad.” Karen said with a sigh, leaning her head against her lover’s shoulder.
“I know. Just married, too.”
Sitting up, Karen placed her bottle on the nearby table, and then did the same with Marley’s. The marshal straddled her lover’s lap and looked into the blue eyes she loved so dearly. Framing the other woman’s face with her hands, Karen leaned forward and latched onto her lips. In turn, Marley pulled her lover impossibly close, sliding her hands along the brunette’s thighs. Barriers were quickly removed and, soon, Marley lay on top of Karen, skin on skin.
In an almost frantic coupling, hands, tongues, and, occasionally, teeth mapped the slick, naked bodies as each woman seemed desperate to consume the other in their quest to forget the death that had surrounded them, in order to celebrate the life before them.
Exhausted, Karen lay on her lover, resting her head on Marley’s breast. The detective played with the marshal’s hair as the couple were content to lie in silence. No words were necessary between the two; they both knew how important it was for the other to just feel the connection they shared. Soon, both women were lulled into a peaceful sleep.
Karen awoke with a start, the image of the dead woman suddenly making an appearance in her dreams. She squinted at the ocean as she tried to focus on the detail that kept escaping her.
“Hey, are you okay?” Marley asked, having woke several minutes before her lover and witnessing the marshal’s unrest.
“Physically, yeah. Well, more than yeah after you got through with me.” Turning serious, she added, “But there’s something I just can’t figure out.”
Karen lifted her head to look down at her lover, her eyes immediately tracking to the detective’s neck. Two very prominent bite marks were present on the pale woman’s skin, and the marshal bit her lower lip. Marley was going to kill her.
“Oh hell, that’s it.” Karen jumped up and began to sort out their clothes.
“What? What’s it?”
“Her neck. Those weren’t bite marks on her neck.”
“What?” Marley was as confused as ever. Karen was talking in incomplete sentences and stepping into the wrong pair of shorts.
“Karen, stop for just a second please. Come sit with me and explain. Whatever it is can wait a few more minutes.”
The marshal blew out a frustrated breath and reached down for the rest of their clothes. Walking over to the couch, she took the seat next to her lover.
“Okay. I got a pretty good look at the deceased before we walked off. Her neck was covered in bruises, and there was a strange looking imprint on the left side. I think it was a belt buckle impression. How many reefs do you know of that wear a belt?”
Marley sat completely still, taking in the information. Did the groom kill his bride?
“Surely, the local authorities checked the body and came to the same conclusion.”
“Marley, we can’t be certain that they did. We’ve got to go over to Andros Town and talk to the police captain.”
“Some vacation, huh?”
“Hey, did you really think that you and I could go somewhere and have nothing happen?”
Chuckling, Marley stood and began to put on her clothes. “No, you’re right. Let’s get dressed and go solve this case.”
Two hours later, the pair had finally talked the police captain into re-examining the body. The belt buckle was even more prominent as lividity had set in, and the captain immediately called for his assistant.
In light of the new evidence, the local police decided to re-interview the woman's husband.
Karen and Marley requested to watch the interview from behind the viewing glass and, surprisingly, the captain agreed. The groom, George Fitzgerald, was brought in and left to sit alone in the interrogation room. The two women took advantage of the situation to study his actions.
The man was definitely distraught and upset over his wife’s death, but there was something else. There was no doubt in either woman’s mind that he was extremely nervous.
The captain came in to inform the women that he was about to begin the questioning when Marley suddenly had a horrifying thought and, if she was right, George Fitzgerald had indeed killed his wife; however, it was purely unintentional.
She spoke softly with the policeman for a few minutes while Karen continued to study the suspect. The red rimmed eyes and red nose couldn’t be faked. Unless this guy had allergies, he was truly devastated.
Marley stepped up next to her lover and discretely took her hand.
“I think it was an accident, Karen.”
“How do you figure?”
“Erotic asphyxiation. Some of the bruises on her neck looked older than the rest.”
“You’re kidding? What made you think of that?”
“He’s not acting nervous, Karen. He’s scared. He’s scared someone is going to find out how it happened. He’s scared because he doesn’t want to tell his in-laws how their daughter died.”
Sobbing from the other room brought the women’s attention back to the present. With his hands covering his face, George Fitzgerald was leaning forward on the table as the police captain tried to console the young man by awkwardly patting him on the back. Looking up, the policeman nodded his head, confirming Marley’s theory.
It was almost dark when the two women returned to the villa. The police captain had promised to do everything he could for Mr. Fitzgerald, citing that losing a loved one was punishment enough. Both sets of parents had flown in, and Marley and Karen had left the moment the older couples had walked into the police station. They had no desire to witness any more heartache today.
“God, what a day. Maybe we should have stayed in Miami.”
“C’mon, Karen. There definitely would’ve been a murder in Miami. Here, this kind of thing hardly ever happens. Let’s just put this behind us and enjoy the rest of our vacation.”
“Yeah. . . Hey, Marley? Do you ever . . .”
The marshal trailed off and, taking a seat on the couch, she looked out the window at the expanse of water. The detective waited for Karen to finish her question, but silence ensued. Frowning, Marley made her way over to sit next to her lover.
“Nothing, it’s silly.”
Taking Karen’s hand, the redhead shifted so that she could better see her lover’s face.
Chuckling nervously, Karen looked down at their joined hands. “Do you ever get bored with me? Um . . . you know; in the bedroom?”
Marley reached over and forcibly pulled Karen onto her lap, startling the marshal.
“You’re kidding, right?”
Embarrassed, Karen started to look away but was stopped by a gentle hand to her cheek. She turned her attention forward, and the devotion, love, and truth projected in Marley’s eyes, convinced the marshal that she was just being overly emotional and insecure.
“I’m sorry, Marley. It's just, I know I’m not the first woman you ever slept with, and I guess I worry if I satisfy you.”
“Were you not here this afternoon?”
Smiling, Karen hit her lover on the shoulder. “Stop. I’m trying to be serious here.”
Marley lifted the marshal and turned slightly. Lying Karen back on the couch, she kept her weight on her arms and leaned over the other woman, keeping their bodies from touching.
“Karen, you may not be the first woman I’ve ever slept with, but *you* are the first woman I’ve ever loved. So, there’s no comparison to the others whatsoever.”
Reaching up, Karen placed her hand behind her lover’s neck, pulling the detective down on top of her. “I love you too, Marley.”
The couple made slow and passionate love, reaffirming their commitment to each other while the moonlight shone on the ocean just outside the window. Despite the day's misadventure, the getaway vacation was just what the couple had needed to reconnect with each other after Karen’s grueling assignment.
Their cries of abandonment played in perfect harmony with the crash of the waves on the shore as each woman freely surrendered to the other.
Reconnection was complete.