Author's Note: Wait no more, here is the next one. Enjoy, review, and thank you for reading!
Strange enough, she could have guessed Joey would go for the jaw. Unsure why he would choose that and why she would know, the trained security guard was able to withstand the blow and apprehend the guy swinging his fists at her. Lost in unfolding the events repeatedly in her head, Jane barely realized they were still walking down the street. She snapped her head up in time to hear a familiar voice trying to catch her attention from nearly the opposite end of the block.
"Hey Rizz! You and your date leaving for the night already?"
The brunette froze mid step, also startling the woman who was well within shoulder-touching proximity. The space between her and Jane seemed to have hummed a vibration that was now suddenly gone.
She sucked a lip between her teeth and quietly hissed, "You have got to be kidding me." Spinning around to face the voice, taking Maura with her in her pivot.
"No. No, I am not kidding. I just got into town and you're…" As soon as they were in close enough distance, her best friend and partner Barry Frost stood facing her, arms crossed tightly over his chest. Jane gave an encouraging grin to Maura to let her know the situation was all right.
"The hell happened to you, Rizz? I'm away from you for a few days and you turn to pudding?" He points at her jaw. "And excuse me, she seems to have made me forget my manners. I am Barry Frost, Jane's best friend and Second Lieutenant at Cavanaugh Security." Jane rolled her eyes with a smirk at her friend. He tried to be smooth with all women, and usually was, but laid it on a little thick sometimes with a two handed shake and excessive eye contact.
He was a charmer no matter who he spoke to and even Jane could admit he was a good looking guy. Frost had that forever-young looking face with the most subtle of stubble on his upper lip and chin. He was dark complected with a thousand watt grin and light brownish-grey eyes that made you instantly feel trust within him. Not to mention he was a sharp dresser and spent a lot of time telling me how out of style my tom-boyish look was.
"Pleased to meet you Barry, I am Maura Isles." Her smaller hand was enveloped in his.
Only Jane could have picked up on the slight hesitation in her partner's response. "The pleasure is all mine Maura, I assure you." Once their hands dropped, Frost looked at Jane with an astonished expression. "I never knew you could date someone who was so polite and normal for once! Well done, Jane! Already a keeper. Were you defending her honor over some idiot in the bar and got a fist to the face by an angry ex girlfriend or something? You ladies are wild." His animated and contagious laugh gave way to his intended joke.
Maura noticed the faintest rose hue rise up from her new friend's neck to her cheek before clearing her throat Seeing her discomfort, she tested her ability to improve Jane's uneasiness by interjecting. "Yes, some of that statement is true in fact. However, Jane and I are not dating. I was previously involved with Joey Grant, a former classmate of Jane's, and he displayed some rather inappropriate behavior and though I am certain it was not on purpose, he did end up striking my arm. Jane stepped in, tried to get him to go outside and showed absolutely no aggression toward him - on their way out, he turned around and hit her right in the face." Maura allowed her emotions to overtake her body as she felt her heart rate and breathing increase rapidly.
Quickly, the lightness in Barry's face contorted into anger. Squaring his shoulders and puffing out his chest, fists clenched as tightly as his teeth as he spoke, "Is he still inside?"
"No, Frost, it's not worth it."
They fought with their eyes and the young man was able to see the plea in Jane's before finally dropping it. "Well that's even juicier than what happened at the reunion then."
Now it was women's turn to face each other with the same matching quizzical expressions. "What happened? We were both there… I don't recall anything crazy. Do you?"
"Yes, I also do not have any recollection of anything regarded as juicy as you described. However, something tells me we may have different ideas of what that word means." Maura chimed in.
"Something tells me you two wouldn't have known…"
Now that Frost had succumbed to mumbling, Maura found an easy exit. "Listen, you two have some catching up to do and I have the start of a long weekend to get to. Jane…" The criminologist now had a hard time addressing her new friend she had spoken to all evening. "Please don't forget to put some ice on that…. And, um... call me soon?" A gentle squeeze to the brunette's arm and she was ducking her head into her car.
The moment she was turning her vehicle around the corner, Frost clapped a hand on Jane's back. "The hell, Rizz. You're braver than I thought, dating your old bully's girlfriend."
The brunette shoved her partner back. "Not dating her and she is not his girlfriend."
Frost sensed the weight in her tone and decided it was best to ease off. He instead suggested they go back to Jane's parent's house and sit on the porch because it was closer than his hotel and he had a lot to tell her.
She thought she was going to have to use some practiced interrogation techniques to get him to talk, however he wasted no time. Barry went on to quickly explain that he had heard Joey Grant and Emily Bruno reunited themselves together in the janitor's closet outside the gym and that Jane and Maura were flirting the whole time Joey was off chugging beers and doing shots with his old buddies.
"How the hell do you know that? It's been a couple of days and you didn't even go to my school! You went to private school!"
"Well yeah..." Frost look at her lopsidedly, "But I had lacrosse camp with all those guys for four years -"
"Yeah, yeah, your little bro-club full of meat heads." Jane said, making her partner laugh in agreement. "I can't believe you and Giovanni have been friends longer than you and I."
He laughed even harder now before being able to gather a response. "He was texting me the night of the reunion and I had my personal phone in the car so I didn't get his twenty-something messages until later on. Oh, and if you're wondering, he still thinks you're smokin' hot. Maura too."
"Well, he's not wrong there..." They nodded together. "Can't believe he was messing around with Emily Bruno… Again. She's been married for a few years, right?"
Her partner nodded. "Yeah I think so. I didn't want to say any of that in front of Maura.
But now with all this happening tonight and the two of you even having dinner together, it's going to cause a bit of an uproar Jane."
She let her head fall back to the brick of the house behind her with a soft thud. They sat on the front porch of Jane's parent's house in a couple chairs that faced out to the neighborhood. "Guess we'll see huh..."
"Well, that'll all be on you, partner. I'm gonna go see about a girl this week that I'm off and visit my moms. I'll catch up with you or see you at home in New York."
The brunette chuckled softly knowing exactly how her friend was. "Be safe when you meet that girl tonight in some shady bar."
He left with a tight hug around his best friend and said they'd catch up later. Frost was a man who could not be held in once place for too long when he wasn't on the job. Jane understood that and knew he was happy to be back home for some time too and needed to enjoy his vacation days just as much as she did.
She had to grunt to pull ahead in her sprint down the street to the smoothie bar. Frankie was faster than she remembered but there was not a chance in hell she could ever let herself lose to him. They had been competitive their whole lives much to the dismay of their parent's sometimes. While Tommy usually spent his time breaking things, then fixing them, and later in life chasing girls, Frankie and Jane always had a lot more in common. They were more into the likes of sports and fitness while the youngest brother preferred to get his hands dirty around the yard or in the walls of the house with their dad growing up. If something went out, clogged up, flooded, Tommy was right there next to their father holding the flashlight.
"Damn Janie! I just want to win one! Just once!" Her younger brother threw his arms in a, mostly, fake tantrum.
Their breaths were still panting by the time they reached the front door to the smoothie shop, Frankie pulled the door and allowed his sister in first. "By the way, because you lost, you know that means you pay, right?"
He pulled a sweaty ten dollar bill from his sock to which Jane took from the corner with a tiny pich and the most disgusted look on her face. "If I'm not back in time to order, I want a peanut butter banana protein shake." He made his way through the small place motioning he had to use the bathroom while Jane stepped in a line that was now five customers deep. With how long this place is taking to make the drinks she knew she would have to exercise some patience this morning.
Frankie pulled her out of bed quarter to six o'clock for a sunrise run to the other side of town to get some of these famous Boston smoothies that everyone was talking about apparently. The only reason she found she was able to get up and go under his request was the look on his face. Pure surprise, shock, and awe. As if he never anticipated this could be her answer and was already prepared to be shut down. After that look, Jane was only happy to oblige and found a way to make a game out of it. She had even described the events of the reunion and what happened at the pub the previous evening. Though her little brother wanted to defend her, he knew she was capable of taking care of herself and was confident in however she chose to deal with this.
She peered at the menu trying to decide what kind of treat she was going to give herself this morning as the bell above the door alerted the arrival of a new customer. The sound draws her attention away from the smoothie selections and to the entrance. Jane was well aware of how her mouth fell open with not a word to utter aloud. Just staring, surprise etched across her chiseled features.
"Oh, hello, good morning Jane." Maura stepped behind her in the growing line, the hint of a question in her voice.
Jane was still unable to form words and vaguely aware of her mouth agape. "I.. Wow… Fancy meeting you here, Maura." They stood awkwardly as if the time for a brief embrace with an acquaintance wasn't quite gone but lingered in the air dancing back and forth across a thin line.
Finding a way to break the strangeness they both felt, Maura snapped Jane out of her wonder. "I see the swelling in your jaw has come down quite a bit and just some very minimal bruising."
Instantly Jane put her hand to the previously injured area. "Ah, yeah, doesn't even hurt."
Maura took another look at her jaw and seemed pleased with how it was healing and gave a nod. "Are you familiar with this place?"
"No, first time here actually." Jane welcomed the subject change. "Frankie, my younger brother and I raced here this morning. He suggested this place. He said it was some new hip place."
At the mention of his name, he came walking up next to them. "Wow, the line still hasn't moved?"
"They opened up twenty minutes ago, a line will be forming very soon." Maura chimed in.
"Hi, you Janie's friend?"
"Um, yes I suppose…" Maura looked between the brother and sister.
"Yes, sorry Frankie, this is my friend, Maura. Maura this is my brother Frankie. He lost the race today."
She reached out to shake his hand. "Pleasure to meet you, Frankie. Better luck next time."
Frankie smiled at the statement. "Nah, she beats me every time. You out for a run too?"
"As a matter of fact I was. I have been coming here a few mornings a week to try a new beverage after my morning jog."
The line finally moved ahead one person. "Maybe next time you'll have to join up with us and see if you can beat Jane. Someone must."
"Something tells me she is very fast. Her body is long, tall, and lean making her subject to great aerodynamics."
Jane felt a blush creep up and looked away briefly just as another jingle above the door notified everyone another group of patrons were filing in. She briefly cast a glance in that direction before bringing her attention back to Maura and her brother. Though not for long.
"Jane?" A slightly familiar voice came from behind her.
She pivoted back to where the sound of the bell rang and found herself dropping her jaw once more. "Emily, hello." Her voice involuntarily deadpanned.
The former classmate wasted no time in getting into gossip just as she did in high school. Tearing her sunglasses off her face, she spoke as if there was no one else around them. "Damn, doesn't even look like Joey punched you." Jane had been so wrapped up in conversation with Maura yesterday evening at the pub that she barely recalled Emily even being there as the crowd got bigger. "You know he got absolutely wasted after you left and went on and on about how he knew you were going to steal his girl. He kept saying you were hitting on her the whole time at the reunion and that no one was going to make him look like a fool," she rolled her eyes in dramatic fashion, waving a dismissing hand. "You know how Joey is. But I'm so glad it's working out for you two. Super hot together." Emily flicked a red nail between the two of them in their elastic running gear.
Jane felt her face flash in white hot. "We are not together, Emily."
She slid her sunglasses back on her face. "Whatever you say Jane, secret's safe with me."
They stood in silence for the next few awkward and grueling minutes while they moved up in line. Once they reached the front, Jane motioned for Maura to go ahead of them. After she placed her order, Frankie made simple conversation with his sister's friend over the hype of this smoothie bar. Maura had assured him he would not be disappointed with whatever drink he chose.
Jane, still a little bewildered, had briefly forgotten where they were. When Maura was turning to leave with her plastic cup, taking a sip, she caught the brunette's eyes as they strayed away from the menu on the back wall. "Try the blueberry," Maura swallowed with a wink in her direction.
The coldness of the drink must have done something to make the blonde's voice drop several octaves. Jane then vowed to try everything blueberry from here on out.