"You have the right to remain silent, if you refuse that right, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney, if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you..." Inspector Lindsay Boxer said, slapping a pair of handcuffs on the thin, scrawny kid, barely out of High school. Barely out of high school, and already committed a string of murders along the San Franscico Bay Area. She handed the now handcuffed murderer to Detective Gil Lowman, who continued to read the kid his rights as he helped him into the back of a police car.
Lindsay sighed as she surveyed the scene surrounding her. It was dark, nearly ten at night. Police were keeping a tight barricade around the area, holding back curious onlookers and the press. An ambulance and several cop cars sat at odd angles in the street, just outside the kid's mother's house. The mother herself was sitting in the ambulance, a blanket wrapped around her frail shoulders, in shock. Lindsay headed over to her.
"Mrs. Davidson, I'd like to ask you a couple of questions." She began, but Mrs. Davidson cut her off.
"You're wrong!" The old woman screamed. A paramedic tried to calm her down. "My son is not a killer! He did not kill anyone! You've got it all wrong. Louie's a good kid, he wouldn't hurt a fly!"
Lindsay stepped back, giving Mrs. Davidson some room. The poor woman was unstable, and they didn't really need to talk to the mother anyway, the evidence against Louie Davidson was astounding, the case was basically open and shut. She turned her head as she heard heels against pavement, and saw Jill Bernhadt, the city's Assistant District Attorney, and also one of her closest friends, walking towards her in long strides, looking good, as she always did, in a sleek black skirt and a grey blouse. Lindsay walked over to meet her, still hearing the woman proclaiming her son's innocence in the background, how he could never hurt anyone.
"E pur si Muove." Jill said softly, staring at the frantic woman, now being restrained by two paramedics. She turned to Lindsay and gave her a smile. "So, we solved this one in record time, huh? Two weeks."
"And three victims." Lindsay said quietly. That was the part that was getting to her the most. Three innocent young girls had to die before they got him. To the Inspector, that was three too many.
Jill squeezed her friend's shoulder. "Don't think about that. Think about all the lives we saved."
Lindsay tried to smile. "Yeah, I think I will."
"Please tell me I'm not needed here."
Lindsay and Jill turned to see their close friend, Claire Washburn, join them. They laughed.
"No, I think you're fine. But feel free to keep our company anyway." Jill told the dark-skinned chief medical examiner affectionately.
"I'm telling you, I know Inspector Lindsay Boxer, if you will just call her over here, I'm sure she will tell you the same thing."
They all looked towards the police barricade, holding bystanders back, to see an energetic, red-headed reporter trying to weasle her way past the police officer's blocking her way. She was better known as Cindy Thomas, a crime reporter from the Register, and also the fourth member of their group.
"We better go help her before she get's herself arrested." Jill said. Although the blonde had a glint in her eyes, she was serious. Cindy had a knack for getting into trouble.
Claire linked her arm through the homicide detective's, while Jill looped her arm through Lindsay's other one, and together they walked over to "rescue" their friend.
"Here's to us," Cindy said half an hour later. She raised her glass in the air. "To the awesome club we have."
"It's not a club!" The other three women cried, laughing, as they all clinked their glasses together. The waitress brought them another round. They were quiet for a while as they drank their drinks. Jill was the first one to talk.
"Okay, so we've been dying to tell you Linds, but we wanted to wait until you weren't on a case when we did."
Lindsay raised her eyebrows expectantly. "Are you going to tell me or do I have to guess?"
"Well, in honour of your birthday this Friday... No, we didn't forget," Jill said as the Inspector rolled her eyes. "In honour of your birthday, I convinced my cousin to let us borrow his cabin for a few days."
"In San Ferno!" Cindy exclaimed, with fake enthusiasm.
Lindsay looked puzzled. "What's San Ferno?"
"That's what I said." Cindy replied, dejected.
Claire shook her head affectionately at their reporter friend. "Cindy wanted to go to L.A."
Lindsay opened her mouth to protest.
"But we quickly vetoed that idea." Jill put in. So I promised my cousin I'd repaint the cabin if he would let us stay there a few nights. And by I, I mean we. So it's all set. A few days of hiking, swimming, shopping at the local stores. Just us girls, including Martha ofcourse." Jill said, referring to Lindsay's lovable border Collie.
"So, what do you say, sweetie?" Claire smiled warmly at her best friend.
A million thoughts raced through Lindsay's head. She wanted to say no. Just stay home, curl up with a book and a bottle of wine like she did every other birthday. Maybe have the girls over for dinner. But she could tell Jill had put a lot of work into this and it was good timing, what with them just finishing a case and all. And it would be nice to get away for a while. Lindsay grinned as she made her decision.
"San Ferno, here we come!"