When Lindy tried to think about the exact time in her life it had all started turning to shit, she had never been able to pinpoint it.
Was it when, at the of age 17 and freshly motherless, she'd had to check her own dad into rehab because of his unbreakable love affair with popping prescription pills?
No, she decided. Not then. There had still been good times after that.
Alright, maybe, her life had begun to implode on itself when she had had to watch her little sister being lowered into the ground and for the first time felt truly alone, ignoring the empty condolences coming from the people around her.
Probably then, Lindy agreed. Yes, that had been the darkest span in her past. The period after it only a hazy cloud of hangovers and nameless men leaving her cold in the middle of the night.
Yet, she relented, she had somehow still pulled herself out of that sucking vortex. Catching herself turning into her constantly relapsing and vacant father, Lindy had chosen to study her ass off from then on in and was repaid for it with a full ride to NYU.
Later she would tell people it had been her dream school since she had been little. Truth was, she had stuck a pin in a map and had prayed to some higher power that New York would work it's magic on her, erase her pain and offer a whole new future.
Although horrific, those intervals in her life had been out of her hands. As much as she wanted to, she couldn't have stepped in front of the drunk driver that had hit her sister, nor could she have had made her dad an addict no longer.
So, Lindy had to accept that her downfall had surely really flourished when she had committed the one mistake that was sheerly of her own doing.
She had gotten engaged.
Jake had been funny, debonair, polite to a fault. A Christian Grey come to life, only without the bad writing and mommy issues. She'd been smitten from their first date. After so long with only herself to care for, having someone like Jake Bolin dote on you felt like a force of nature. She'd been powerless.
And somewhere in-between him whipping her away to France for the weekend, cooking for her, and taking her to see all the sold out Broadway plays, she had done the unimaginable and accepted his proposal after only seven months of dating.
Which is why, Lindy groused, turning away from staring at the moonlit stucco ceiling to burrow her head under the pillow, this was what her life was now.
She had just closed her eyes again for a second, attempting to fit in a few more hours of fitful sleep before morning, when the unmistakable rough, wetness of a tongue licked her from ear to nose.
Lindy recoiled in distaste. Up until two days ago she had never met an animal she didn't like. That was, until his dog turned out to be just as obnoxious as it's owner. Both living, it seemed, for the sole purpose to annoy the living shit out of her.
"Go away, Boris" she hissed, giving up on the notion of rest completely. However, as she noticed the vending machine light coming through the cracked motel blinds and reflecting off the gun and badge sitting on the night stand, an idea appeared and Lindy smiled, giving the mutt a pet on his head.
Lowering her feet onto the floor as silently as she could, she kept one eye on the dog and one eye on the other figure in the room. He had apparently fallen asleep watching reruns of the Saved By The Bell, if the muted T.V still playing the marathon was anything to go by. A half-eaten bag of potato chips lay spilled by his side and one of his arms dangled to the floor, his bare chest staying firmly sculpted no matter how much junk food Lindy had seen him inhale.
As she stepped noiselessly backwards, Lindy felt the faint stirrings of annoyance that Tommy Calligan managed to look halfway decent even when his usual precisely slicked backed hair was in disarray and with what she was pretty sure was drool on the corner of his mouth.
Groping tentatively behind her and finally feeling the cool brass knob fill her hand, her heart jumped and she grinned to herself. Suck on that, Calligan. She slithered through the door, positive the sound of it closing behind her would set Boris off barking. But miracle of miracles, the night remained still, and she sucked in the fresh air, taking one step then another and another, until she was standing in front of her ticket to freedom.
"You learn how to hotwire a car and not tell me?"
Jumping a mile, Lindy cursed at the sound of the voice. Bastard had probably been faking sleep the whole time she had thought she'd been preforming her great escape. She spun around to find Tommy lackadaisically leaning against the wall in front of their motel room, taking a deep drag on the cigarette his was holding before sniffing and dropping it to the ground.
Glancing at the beat-up Jeep she was standing near and then at the ring of keys she had swiped out of his jean pocket this morning while he'd been in the shower, her nose scrunched up as she realized the only key she'd wanted was conspicuously missing.
"No, that would be illegal, wouldn't it?" Lindy sneered, trying to blank how Tommy still hadn't figured out how to put a shirt on. "It's not a crime to take a walk is it?"
Tommy crossed his arms and smirked, evidently enjoying her predicament. He indicated with his head towards her bare legs and worn sleep shorts, "In that kind of clothing it is. Says it somewhere in the handbook."
Lindy rolled her eyes, marching back from the parking lot and attempting to re-enter the motel room. Her eyes flamed bright and she looked at him in disbelief when he carefully grabbed her arm as she brushed past him.
"I don't know what sins I must have committed in a past life to deserve having to protect a girl with a death wish that just won't quit, but could you make my life a little bit easier and, I don't know, stop sneaking out when I can't protect you?"
Huffing, Lindy broke free from his grasp, stalking back into the room she had just been so desperate to escape. Whirling around again to face him after he'd closed the door, she could see by the look in his eyes that this wasn't over yet. Good, she thought, her only kind of release lately was engaging in verbal sparring with Tommy anyway.
Ever since she had met the stubborn, dyed-in-the wool New Yorker cop that stood in front of her, they'd had a volatile relationship. He'd first barged into her life when she'd been dating his childhood friend, Ben, for a short while after graduation. The relationship had fizzled out calmly enough and with it, she had assumed, she'd seen the last of Tommy. But no, like a bad rash, he'd been in and out of her life ever since. Whether he was dating one of her friends or sticking his nose in her business, he never appeared to be very far.
He was rude and cocky and arrogant. The exact opposite of what Lindy had thought Jake was. Born and bred in Brooklyn, every male in his extensive Irish-American family had been a cop at one point and he was no exception. Lindy was just the one unlucky enough to keep getting caught up in his web. Add Tommy's personality to the fact she hadn't trusted the police since they hadn't been able to find the hit and run driver that killed her sister, and putting them in a room together was like putting cats and dogs in a sack and shaking it.
"Well maybe, Calligan," Lindy responded caustically, gearing up for a fight. "If you hadn't been a bad little boy and fucked up your last case you wouldn't have to be watching over me like a guard dog."
The natural smugness dropped from Tommy's face and his cheekbones tightened. It was a sore subject and she'd known it. On the brink of a promotion, he'd gotten overly confident a couple of months ago trying to catch a wannabe mobster from the Bronx, almost getting his partner killed in the process. His punishment? Playing babysitter for an unstable criminal's meant-to-be wife.
"It's Tommy," he corrected, voice chilly. "You don't get to call me by my last name." Tommy wryly smiled and questioned sardonically and loudly, "And I know I'm just a dumb cop to you, but did it ever cross your mind to not try and blackmail your batshit crazy fiancé?"
Ah, there it was. His trump card.
But thinking about that made her think about the very, very bad thing that she didn't like to think about, so she pushed it all away. The shady dealings, the dark underbelly of New York's politicians, Jake's hunger for money and then the flash of a bullet and her best friend dead at her feet. All gone for now, until she couldn't keep it locked up in her mind any longer.
Lindy decided to go primitive. Hating herself a little for doing it, she crossed her arms firmly, making sure her cleavage was spilling just so over the top of her tank top.
"But Thomas," she softened her voice minutely "I just need to get to a laptop. I'm not even asking for my phone back. All I want is ten minutes on a computer."
Attempting to smile up at him through her eyelashes like she'd noticed the sorority girls back at school doing when they needed something, she bit her lip to stop a laugh bubbling up at thinking how ridiculous she must look.
Granted his gaze had flashed to her chest for all of five seconds before he grimaced at the use of his full name and then bent his tall frame to make sure he was eye to eye with her.
"No," he countered simply.
Lindy raged inside. "Look, for me, going without access to a computer this long is comparable to you going without your harem of girls for like more than a day."
Tommy just grinned wider. "If I'm suffering without for the next two weeks till the trial, then so are you baby."
Scrunching her toes into the mildewy carpet to stop the scream wanting to escape, Lindy fumed, walking back to her bed and pulling the sheets over her head so she didn't have to look at his self-satisfied face anymore.
She heard the light click off and then a few minutes later his distinct tread on the floor moving over to his bed. When all was quiet again, Lindy couldn't block out any longer why she had woken up in the first place, drenched in perspiration and her heart pounding.
"Tommy," she called, contrite with her tone. "It's just that I can't…I can't sleep. Every time I close my eyes I hear the door being forced open, or the lock being broken and I see him. I just wanted to do something."
She could hear him turn over and look at her. "Linds'," he answered, sighing. "Nothing is going to happen to you tonight. Not while I'm here. You hear me? Nothing."
Finally Lindy slept.
A/N- Something about this couple is so promising and exciting I just had to start this fic. Please let me know if any of you enjoyed it or are interested in me continuing it. And to my DE readers, please know they are still my heart and soul and I would never leave SL unfinshed!
Thank you all for reading!