would get to act distraught, the guys would get to act stoic yet caring, and everyone would get to
act confused when Robyn's character Judith showed up at the hospital to visit Rita.
The new scenes had been scheduled during the second week of filming, but Nate, in his infinite
director's wisdom, had decided that this unseasonably cold and wet night would be the perfect
backdrop for the mood he wanted to set for the attack. And that was why, at nearly midnight
after a full day of shooting, I was sprawled in a soggy heap in an dark, dirty 'alley'; cold, wet, and
thoroughly annoyed that my plans for the night with Robyn, who I hadn't seen in two weeks and
who was finally coming home tonight after delays on the Lost Key shoot, had to be cancelled.
"Scene eleven-C, take five…mark!" someone called, followed by the distinct snap of a
"Ready," Nate spoke again, "…and action!"
I forced myself to stay limp as rough hands gripped the front of my shirt, lifting me slightly off
the ground and hot, cigarette-tinged breath blew across my face.
"Drop the case, bitch." The words were harsh and grating, underlined by another shake that I
suffered bonelessly. "Forget you ever heard of the name Julian Hernandez."
My eyes fluttered open briefly, enough to see the cruel sneer and the dark, pock-marked face
above me. The day-player who'd gotten the part of my attacker - David something or other -
really was quite…intimidating, and I experience again, as I had in the takes before, a moment of
unease when I opened my eyes and found his face so close to mine. I fought the accompanying
urge to strike out in defense, reminding myself that Todd Massey was safely locked away in the
Intensive Psychiatric Service unit of Laurel Hills Psychiatric Center in Tampa, and the man
above me was not a threat. I gritted my teeth and forced out a soft moan, lolling my head to the
side and exposing the fake blood on my cheek to the cold rain. The gooey mess immediately
began to drip down my neck and into the collar of my shirt, tickling slightly.
"Rita?" a muted voice called, and sharp, quick footsteps echoed nearby.
The man swore unintelligibly and gave me one more shake before dropping me unceremoniously
back to the wet pavement. I stifled a wince and lay still as the splash and slap of his footsteps
receded into the night.
The quick footsteps came nearer, stopping abruptly near my head. "Rita! Oh god…Rita…"
Warm fingers brushed my forehead and then were gone in a rustle of clothing. A click, several
beeps, and the voice came again. "This is Detective Jennifer Hastings, badge number 54162. I
have an officer down at…"
Liz's voice rattled off a fictional address and other information while she knelt beside me, and I
willed myself not to move as the tickle on my neck from the rivulets of fake gore and rain
became harder to ignore. From the hours spent setting up, blocking, and rehearsing this scene, I
knew the dolly camera was slowly pulling away, widening the shot, and soon we'd be done, if I
could just keep still a bit longer.
A fat drop of water dribbled from my hair onto the side of my face, and I felt it start a slow slide
towards my ear.
I hated getting things in my ears. They were extremely ticklish, and just the thought of that big
fat drop trickling into one…
Not my ear, not my ear, not my ear, I chanted silently, keeping myself still with supreme effort.
Goddamnit Nate, cut already....
Just as the drop trickled exactly where I didn't want it to, Nate yelled "Cut!" and lights and
movement erupted around me, turning the seemingly deserted area into a hive of activity.
"Gah…" I jerked into a sitting position and shook my head wildly, spraying water and film blood
everywhere, frantic to get the water out. I dug into my ear with my pinky and shook my head
again, finally getting the water out with a shiver and a sigh of relief. "God, I hate that…" My
voice trailed off when I glanced over to find Liz staring at her red-spattered hands and clothes
with appalled dismay.
"Oh…shit." I bit back a laugh and reached out hesitantly to flick a drippy red chuck of gore from
her forehead, and another from her cheek. "Sorry. It was dripping into my ear…"
She scowled and rose swiftly to her feet, wiping her hands on her pants in annoyance. "Ew.
Just…ew. Until about thirty seconds ago, I was actually feeling sorry for you." She turned and
yelled over to where Nate was huddled under a clear plastic tarp with two other people, watching
a replay of what we'd just filmed on the monitors. "Nate! We'd better be finished, 'cause Caid
just…exploded all over me."
"And I'm freaking freezing!" I called grumpily as I crawled to my feet, careful to not put too
much weight on my newly healed wrist. The orthopedic specialist had given me the green light
to take the brace off if I was careful, but it was still fairly weak and prone to aching. Especially, I
was finding, in weather like this.
Nate waved a vague hand, not looking up from the monitors. "Get out of the wet for a minute,
and let us take a look at these. I think we've got a print, but give me a sec."
I grunted and followed Liz towards the improvised tarp shelter they'd thrown up to covered our
chairs, a small table with a few empty trays of crumbs, and an urn of coffee. I slumped into my
chair and a barely recognizable crewmember wrapped in a yellow rain poncho handed me a
towel which I took it gratefully, leaning over and rubbing vigorously at my wet hair. When I
straightened, still drying my hair absently, Liz was perched in the chair beside me, sitting
patiently while Jules wiped away the last traces of the blood that I'd splattered all over her. Liz's
eyes cut to me with a frown.
"You really did get soaked." She took in my soggy jeans and the short-sleeved, cotton shirt I
wore that was plastered to my body and so soaked it was nearly transparent. Figures wardrobe
would dress me in a white cotton shirt the night I have to lay out in the cold rain…I felt like a
contestant in a wet t-shirt contest, and had already fielded several sniggered comments about my
'points of power' and 'twin weapons of mass destruction'.
"Yes, I really did get soaked," I agreed, shivering and wiping at my arms and neck but avoiding
my face, although the sticky mixture of wet adhesive and makeup globed there was driving me
Jules sighed in aggravation and stepped over to peel off the oozing red acrylic appliance that had
previously been attached to my cheek to simulate a wound. She dropped it into a container in her
set kit with a wet slap and peeled another off my jaw, producing a wince when it stuck to the still
tender skin beneath. "Sorry," she muttered as she worked, although she didn't sound or act
particularly sorry. She stepped back and nodded at my towel. "You might as well just wipe the
rest off - it's ruined now anyway."
As she stalked off I sighed and carefully began to swab my face, cleaning away the film blood
and whatever else Jules had smeared on me. I hoped that in a few weeks, when all this extra
effort wasn't necessary, that she'd stop being so damn cranky at me all the time. The thought of
going through the rest of the season with the makeup specialist pissed-off at me was too
depressing to ponder.
"New beau." Liz stated, her voice startling me out of my thoughts.
"Pardon?" I glanced over at her and held the towel away from my face, cocking an eyebrow
"Jules. Has a new beau. Some musician, apparently." She tilted her head slightly and tapped her
cheek, just in front of her ear. I wiped at the offending spot on my own face, and she nodded.
"Having to be at the set so early is interfering with her love life. That's why she's being such a
bitch to you lately."
I shook my head and stood, dropping the crimson-spattered towel into my chair. "You mean she's
treating me like shit because she's not getting laid?" I was annoyed that I was being blamed for
the current disruption to the schedule - it wasn't like I went out and got the scars on purpose…I'd
been attacked for fuck sakes. It was, however, slightly heartening to hear that the cold shoulder
might end when the schedules settled and regular nookie could commence.
"So says Drew, anyway," Liz said, and handed me the coat that had been hanging on the back of
the chair. "Here, put this on before you freeze to death."
I nodded my thanks and pulled the jacket on, shuddering at the initial feel of the cold material
against my already ice-cold skin. I zipped it up and rubbed my arms a few times, hoping my
body heat would soon make wearing the coat warmer than not wearing it. "I guess Drew would
know. Hell, if this script change gets things back to normal with everyone, then it'll be well
worth laying in a puddle in the rain for three hours. But next time, you get the puddle." A violent
shiver shook my body to emphasize the words. "At least you got a coat during takes."
The script had called for the assault to take place in the alley behind a bar that the squad
frequented; the assailant nabbed Rita on her way to the bathroom, hence no coat for me. Liz had
lucked out that the writers and wardrobe had deemed Jen smart enough to put on a jacket before
searching for her partner, and that had kept Liz fairly dry throughout the drizzly shoot.
"Sorry," she said contritely and handed me a cup of coffee. "I promise, next time I'll lay in the
I took the coffee it in both hands, holding it for several seconds to warm my fingers and smiling
slightly at the ludicrousness of that statement. Her sentiment might be genuine, but the chances
of a script ever being written that called for Liz Stokley to lie in a puddle were slim to none. "I'll
remember that," I said, and sipped at my drink, feeling almost warm for the first time in hours.
I nodded to David the day-player who came under our tarp for a coffee refill. "Nice job tonight,
He seemed startled that I had spoken to him and his hands jerked, coming precariously close to
tipping the coffee urn over. "Uh…thanks." He smiled sheepishly, righting the urn and finished
filling his coffee without further incident.
"You look familiar…you had a part last season, didn't you? You worked with Micah and
We chatted idly for a few minutes, Liz interjecting comments occasionally, until Nate finally
decided he had what he needed, thanked us, and told us we were through for the night. The entire
crew heaved an audible sigh of relief and several started breaking down the set and light rigging,
while Liz, David and I, along with the rest of the crew, headed en-mass towards the studio
building's front entrance, the parking lot, or the trailers, all of which were in the same direction.
The drizzle let up as we walked along the side of the building, and we rounded the corner,
chattering and joking about crappy timing. As the large crowd broke up into smaller groups
bound for different destinations, Liz and I waved and headed for the row of actor's trailers which
were set up as a subtle reminder of the 9P cast pecking order with Liz's being the first in the row
and mine being the last. I stopped at her trailer to finish the conversation we'd been having,
ribbing her gently about being willing to pay five thousand dollars for a wedding cake.
"Christ, Liz, I've heard you whine about paying a buck-fifty for a muffin…"
I could tell she was gearing up for a good comeback and looking forward to it when a wolf-
whistle and several calls of greeting from the crew drew our attention to a tall, raincoat clad form
emerging from a green SUV that I hadn't noticed parked in the lot's front row.
I hadn't recognized the car in the dark, but I certainly recognized its passenger. Even bundled in
red gortex from the waist up, her form was unmistakable and a pleasant warmth stole through me
at the sight of her.
"Isn't that Robyn?" Liz asked curiously. "I thought you cancelled your plans tonight."
I nodded absently at both questions. I had called Robyn and left a message about Nate's
rearranging of the shooting schedule, telling her that I would call her in the morning. I hadn't
expected to see her until then, and I was touched and pleased that she'd wanted to see me badly
enough to brave the rain and the late hour. A grin spread across my face as she splashed through
numerous puddles towards us, waving casually and returning the crew's greetings and comments
but not pausing to talk to any of them.
Soon she was standing in front of me, smiling widely, her near-black eyes alight with pleasure.
She pushed the hood of her coat back, absently freeing her hair from the confines of the hood
with one hand and letting it cascade down her back. "Hey," she grinned, and moved towards me,
hesitating when I instinctively flicked a glance at the several crew members who were suddenly
not in such a hurry to get out of the wet. They watched us avidly, not even trying to conceal their
I glanced back at Robyn nervously, not sure how public she wanted to be, and honestly not
certain how public I wanted to be, either. She watched me carefully, as though waiting for some
clue, and finally said softly, "I'm dying to touch you, Caid, and right now, I don't really give a
damn who's watching, but I'll understand if you're uncomfortable…"
Her words melted my indecision instantly, and I stepped forward to wrap my arms around her
before she even finished speaking.
"Whoa," she chuckled as her arms closed around me. "Guess that question is answered."
"Hi," I murmured into her shoulder. Her arms tightened briefly and then, deciding without
having to say so that other, more involved greetings could wait until later, we both stepped back.
"I didn't expect to see you until morning," I said, unable to stop myself from stroking her arm
lightly. "I very glad to be wrong."
She smiled and shrugged slightly. "I got your message, but decided I didn't want to wait until
tomorrow when I knew exactly where you were tonight." She hesitated, and then leaned forward
and pressed her lips to my cheek, letting the kiss linger far past what could reasonably be
construed as a friendly peck. "Hi," she whispered as she pulled back.
I blinked in surprise, both at her boldness and the sweetness of the gesture. She squeezed my
hand and glanced behind me with a friendly smile. "Hi Liz."
"Hi Robyn," Liz's amused voice replied. "Good to see you. Finally finished, hmm?"
I turned, embarrassed to have forgotten Liz was standing there, and met her amused look with an
"Yeah, finally." Robyn put her hands in the pockets of her jacket and rocked back and forth on
her heels. "It was a cluster-fuck there at the end, but supposedly things are all done. And perfect
timing too - they're in the middle of a heat wave in New York. When I flew out today, it was 98
degrees and something like ninety percent humidity."
Unthinking, I snaked an arm around Robyn's waist as she talked, and when I realized what I was
doing, slowly started to withdraw it. She casually pulled a hand out of her pocket to snag the
retreating limb and put it back on her waist, keeping it there with a gentle pat. "I was ready to get
back to something at least a little drier…" She laughed and waved at the rain around us. "This is
"No shit," I mumbled, suddenly reminded that despite the warmth Robyn's presence caused,
under my coat I still wore a soaked cotton shirt and wet jeans. I shivered, and Robyn looked over
at me with a frown, seeming for the first time to notice my bedraggled state.
Liz made a shooing motion and pushed us both down the line of trailers. "Go. You've been
bitching about being cold for two hours - you don't need to stand out here and get even colder.
Robyn, I'm glad you're back, and Caid, I'll see you in the morning."
I groaned, remembering that despite tonight's late shoot, we still had a 7:30 call time in the
morning, which meant that I had to be here at 5:30. "Shit," I muttered and sighed heavily as we
said goodbye to Liz and trudged down the row of trailers to the last one. I mounted the steps and
unlocked the door, pushing it open and letting Robyn enter first. My brain was still grumbling
about the early call time when I was yanked into the trailer, the door slammed behind me, and
Robyn's deliciously warm, demanding mouth descended on mine.
After overcoming my initial surprise I gave as good as I got, even pushed up against the door as I
was. Her kisses were, impossible as it seemed, even better than I remembered, scrambling my
brain and sending heat surging through me. We fought for dominance of the kiss until eventually
I directed us across the room and onto the couch where we fell, laughing, in an ungraceful heap
with Robyn on the bottom.
I straddled her body and propped myself up on my hands, smiling happily down at her. "Hi."
"Hey." She grinned and ran her hands along my thighs, her smile turning to a frown as she
rubbed my legs. "Caid, you're soaking wet."
I contemplated an innuendo-laden response, but settled for the facts instead, giving her a quick
kiss before sitting up. "I've been lying around in the rain for three hours, of course I'm soaking
wet." I unzipped my coat and shrugged it off, tossing it onto a neighboring armchair. "And I'm
freezing. I was planning on taking a shower to warm up, but someone distracted me." I smiled to
show her I wasn't at all upset by the distraction.
She reached up to finger the collar of my shirt. "Please tell me that's fake."
I looked down at my shirt, realizing that the collar and chest were stained with red, and there
were red splatters dotting the rest of it. "Yes, it's fake." I plucked at the collar and sighed. "Shit.
Now Zoe's going to be pissed at me, too."
She rested her hands on my thighs, rubbing absently. "What scene were you guys shooting
tonight, anyway? I thought I had the most recent script, but I don't remember anything that called
for you to lie around in the rain, or get bloody."
"They must not have sent you the 'new and improved' script, then. Not too surprising, since I
think they only made the changes yesterday, and we got the new sides today. Your scenes with
me in the first half won't change, I don't think, but you've got some new ones in the second
half…" I rubbed the raised skin along my cheek and jaw. "Covering these ended up being a butt-
load of trouble, so they changed the script and had someone beat the crap out of Rita, to give her
character the same scars. That's what we were shooting tonight - the scene where Rita gets
Her hands tightened on my thighs. "They wrote an attack on you into the script?" she said
angrily. "Could they be any more insensitive? Jesus…"
I stopped her outburst with another quick kiss. "It's okay, baby. I told them it was fine. And if it
gets things back to normal, I'm more than fine with it." She looked unconvinced. "It wasn't so
bad…the damn rain and cold were the worst of it. Which reminds me…" I kissed her again and
wiggled off of the couch, unbuttoning my shirt as I stood. "I need to get out of these wet things
and take a quick shower." I pulled the tail of the shirt out of my pants to finish unbuttoning it,
letting it hang open as I bent down and unlaced my boots, then kicked them off into a corner and
worked at the buttons of my jeans. I glanced up from my unbuttoning and stopped, held
immobile by the naked heat in Robyn's gaze.
"You're so beautiful, Caid," she said quietly, pushing up off the couch and crossing to where I
stood. Warm hands pushed aside the edges of my shirt and rested on my hips, stroking gently. I
closed my eyes, enjoying the gentle caresses and her lips claimed mine in a kiss that managed to
be incredibly tender and soft, yet intensely passionate at the same time. She broke the kiss and
leaned her forehead against mine, and we both sighed softly.
"I missed you too, baby." I put my hand on her chest, realizing she still wore her damp jacket. I
tugged lightly on the material and stepped back. "Why don't you take this off and get
comfortable? I'll just be a few minutes, and then maybe we can grab something to eat…I haven't
eaten since lunch."
Robyn took off her jacket and tossed it onto the chair with mine, cocking her head at me with a
slight smile. "You do realize it's midnight, don't you?"
I shrugged. "It's LA. There's always something open…ah shit!" I smacked my forehead with my
hand. "I have a 5:30 call time in the morning…damnit, I keep forgetting."
She crossed her arms and looked genuinely annoyed. "You have to be in at five in the goddamn
morning after shooting this late?"
I looked at her apologetically, "I'm sorry, baby…"
"No, no…" She waved her hand. "I'm not mad at you, Caid, I just…" she slumped onto the couch
and gave me a wry grin. "Damn. I had plans for you."
I quirked an eyebrow. "Did you now?"
"Mm-hmm." Her eyes perused my half-clothed state. "Definitely. But," she added, leaning back
to spread her arms across the back of the couch and crossing one leg over the other, "I'll take a
rain check. How about instead, I take you home, feed you, and put you to bed?" She suddenly
looked uncertain. "You were planning on spending the night with me, weren't you?"
Her apprehension was misplaced, but kind of cute, and I crossed the room and I leaned down to
capture her lips in a fast, rough kiss, pulling back a few inches and stroking her cheek. "Yes, I
was planning on spending the night with you, and I still am. We just might be doing a little more
sleeping than I originally planned."
She grinned lazily and hooked a finger in the waistband of my pants, pulling my mouth back to
hers for a quick kiss before pushing me away. "Go, or this couch is going to get some action."
I laughed and stepped back, gesturing towards the back room. "There's a perfectly good bed…"
"Caid…" she said warningly.
"Alright, alright, I'm going," I said, laughing.
After shutting myself into the small bathroom, I stripped out of my wet clothes and stepped into
the shower. I set the water hot enough to make me wince and stood under the blissful heat for a
few minutes before starting to scrub at the red streaks on my neck and chest.
"What are you doing tomorrow night?" Robyn's question came from the other side of the shower
curtain, startling me so much that I fumbled with the soap and nearly dropped it.
"You don't mind me coming in here, do you?"
"Uh…no, that's fine." I slowly resumed my washing, very conscious that Robyn was only three
"So…did you have plans tomorrow night?"
"I didn't have any set plans, no." I dunked my head under the spray and wiped the water out of
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