Title: The Case
Disclaimer: I don’t own them; E. George and BBC do. (CBS owns Criminal Minds…)
Rating: R. Mentions sex, gambling, and alcohol use.
Pairings: Lynley and Havers (L/H). I’ve also grabbed Dr. Reid, Agent Hotchner and Agent Prentiss from Criminal Minds. Hope you don’t mind…
Spoilers: The most recent aired eps in the States (and I guess, the world…). If you are unspoiled for the current season of Criminal Minds, this won’t spoil you.
Summary: The case moves on; the relationship moves on.
Notes: Read “Waking Up” to understand this one. WIP!! This is what I have so far. Also posted on my dA page.
“Yes, I think I am. I understand that you’re not out to hurt me.”
“I’m not. I’m just as apprehensive as you are.”
Havers sighed as she leaned her head on his chest. “Your heart is going pretty fast.”
“I was nervous.”
Havers looked up into Lynley’s eyes. “You? Nervous?”
“Yeah. It happens.” He shrugged.
“Should we finish our food?” Havers asked.
“That’s a good idea.”
They both sat down and ate some more of the Chinese food. After a while, Havers spoke up; “Should I stay?”
“If you want to. I have no problem with it. We don’t even have to do anything.”
“Thanks. I asked because I’ve been having some second thoughts about staying here another night.”
“Really?” Lynley was slightly hurt.
“I didn’t mean it that way! I just wanted a night at my flat. Is that okay?”
“Yeah. If that’s what you want to do.”
“Thanks. I’ve got a couple of things to do over there. You’re really understanding.”
“That’s me, understanding,” Lynley looked sideways away from Havers.
“I’ll be back tomorrow. I promise.”
“Of course! I have to go to work and do some serious info-gathering, but I’ll be back after I’m done.”
“Good.” Lynley was relieved. He was worried about how Havers was going to deal with how things were going.
“Do you want me to walk you out?”
“Yes. I’d appreciate that very much.” Lynley walked Havers to the door. She put her hand on the doorknob and started to turn it, when Lynley wrapped his arms around her again. She smiled and reciprocated the hug, resting her cheek on his chest. He bent his head down and kissed her gently on the top of her head. She looked up and kissed him on the lips.
When they had to stop for air, Lynley asked, “I thought you wanted to leave?”
Havers smiled. “Yes, I did. You’re the one who had to hug me.”
“Ok. I’ll let you go.” He looked at her sadly.
“Don’t be sad, Tom. I will be back tomorrow. I’ll miss you.”
“I’ll miss you too. Good luck on the case. Hold on a sec!”
Havers turned around. “Yeah?”
“How about I go over to your place? Something different?”
Havers left Lynley’s house. She got into her mini and coaxed it back over to her flat. All the while, she wondered about her feelings for Lynley. He’s really a good person. No wonder Helen snagged him up. But she treated him like rubbish.
Lynley sat at home after Havers left. He was a little sad that she wanted to spend time at her flat, but he understood her need for some space. Things had moved very quickly between them. Maybe he needed some space as well. Although, I didn’t sleep well the past several weeks. When Barbara was with me, I slept much better. Maybe it’s just having someone I care about next to me. I don’t know.
Havers arrived at her flat fifteen minutes after she left Lynley’s house. She had to shower and sleep before going to work tomorrow. It was going to be a long day.
Lynley went to bed soon after Havers left. He needed to get some sleep before he went over to her place. He also needed to clean up his house and do some other things. He laid down on his bed, closed his eyes, and fell into a fitful sleep. His dreams were filled with images of Havers and of Helen.
At seven the next morning, Havers’ alarm went off. Groaning, she reached over and silenced it. Ungh. I’ve got to go to work. She dragged herself out of bed, showered, and went to the Met. As soon as she arrived, Hillier motioned for her to go to his office. She walked over there as soon as she dropped her purse off at her cubicle.
“What, no chance for a cup of coffee?”
“I’ve got one for you right here.” He gestured toward a foam cup on his desk. “You and Nkata are together today for the case. You get anything out of Lynley?”
Havers took a minute to process what her commanding officer just asked her. Yes, she understood what he said, but her mind took a nosedive into the gutter. “I got a theory.”
“And?” asked Hillier, impatient as always.
“And, he thinks it might have some connection to an American mafia or mob. The MO’s are similar to what those groups use.”
“Not yet, but I want to confirm with the FBI BAU from Washington.”
“Get calling then. After, I want you and Nkata to take a drive and try interviewing the families.”
“Yes, sir. Uhm… isn’t it only about four in the morning over in the US?”
“Bloody time difference. Yes. Call after lunch or something. But get cracking on those interviews!”
Hillier nodded for her to leave. She left his office and went to her cubicle. Winston was there waiting for her. “What’s first?”
“Well, I’d like to call the families of the three deceased victims and try to get a background of them. We need to know where they were and such when they died. We also need to know who they associated with. Also, we should get a picture of what their financial situation was at the time of death.”
“Good idea,” said Winston. “Do you have the phone numbers of the families?”
“Yes, the numbers were provided when the families were notified of the deaths.”
“Good. Do you want me to call them and set up interviews?”
“Sure. Just mention that there’s some more information we need. Don’t say anything about the American mob connection or anything,” cautioned Havers.
“No prob,” said Winston. He set off to his cubicle to make the required phone calls.
Havers sat down in her chair and started going over photographs of all the crime scenes. They were all similar in nature, with the bodies coming up from the bottom of the river bloated and wearing cement shoes. The gambling angle might be what I’m looking for she thought. Maybe I need to go over this with Lynley. No, I won’t. I need to trust my own judgment. I can’t go running to him every time. Anyway, I’ve got Winnie to help me. It was then that she was snapped out of her thoughts by Winston.
“Barbara? Barbara? Havers? Are you awake?”
“Yes, Winston, I am. Sorry. I was lost in thought,” she said sheepishly.
“Yeah, that’s fine. I’ve got the interviews set up. We’re headed to the Smith’s first, then the O’Hare’s, then the last victim’s family… Here it is, the Shane’s.”
“Ok. Let’s go.”
They took Winston’s car, as it was much more reliable than Havers’.
Pulling up to the Smith’s house in North London, Havers and Winston looked at each other. Their eyes seemed to communicate, nice house. Havers and Winston walked up to the door. She looked over at him and he nodded; she rang the bell. A woman came to the door. She was dressed simply; jeans and a t-shirt with a cardigan sweater on top; sneakers. Havers looked at her thinking that she didn’t look too bereaved. Although, the murder had happened a year ago; she may have had time to move on. “Mrs. Smith?” Havers asked.
“Yes. And you are?”
“Uhm, I’m Detective Sargent Havers of the Metropolitan Police. This is my partner Winston Nkata.” They both showed their badges to the woman so she knew that they weren’t lying. “We understand that your husband Steven died about a year ago?”
The woman frowned at both of them. “You both had better come in.”
The two detectives entered the house. The woman lead them into the living room and gestured for them to sit on the couch.
Havers and Winston sat down. Mrs. Smith sat down on one of the chairs near the couch. “Steven was a good man, but he got into some trouble.”
“What kind of trouble, ma’am?” asked Winston.
“He had a gambling problem. He was always up for the next ‘big thing’ if you know what I mean. He played the ponies, bet on dog races, played slots and had recently gotten into poker. That bloody waste-of-time game! He even watched it on the telly to figure out how the professionals won. I kept telling him that he had to stop. Then one day, he figured it out.”
“When was this?” asked Havers, who had been noting everything down in her detective’s notebook.
“About two years before he died. He was going to Gambler’s Anonymous, he had thrown away all his player’s club cards at the casinos, threw away all his playing cards, stopped watching it on telly and even pledged to me that he’d never gamble again in his life.”
“Wow. So he went cold-turkey then?” asked Winston.
“Yes, he did. He said that was the best way for him to ‘get out of the game’ as he put it. Things had gotten better. He was happier, we had more money to do things like take holidays. He took up fishing. His work was better. Before, he was making good money but he didn’t really care about the job, as long as it paid off his gambling problem.”
“So,” said Winston, “Things were better. He must have fallen into old habits at some point.”
“I’m getting there. Yes, he did. I guess the old adage is true, ‘once an addict, always an addict’. He started to go out more at night. The six months before he died, I didn’t see him at home on a Friday night at all. I thought something was going on, but he denied everything.”
“Was he still going to GA?” asked Winston.
“Yes. He even had a young man he was mentoring. The young guy was really nice. We had him over for dinner. He was a Uni student. Up to his ears in debt from Uni, but he thought he could pay them off with the proceeds he made from gambling. His game was poker. He wanted to go pro like the guys he saw on the telly.”
“Did this young man stop cold turkey like your husband?” asked Havers.
“No. He was doing a gradual step-down system. He stopped going to the casinos to play poker and he stopped going to his friends houses to play, but was still watching it on the telly.”
“So, the young man was on his way to recovery,” said Havers.
“Do you have a name?”
Havers and Winston looked at each other, their eyes getting wide. That was one of the names on their list of people to talk to! thought Havers. “So, there’s a connection between Simon Shane and Steven Smith?”
“Yes,” the woman sobbed. “I think they were involved in something. Something big.”
“We hate to ask you this, ma’am, but have you heard of a Brighton O’Hare?”
“Yes. He was the leader of the GA group my husband and Simon went to.”
Again, Winston and Havers looked at each other with wide eyes. Another connection! thought Havers.
“Ma’am,” said Havers, “We’ll be in touch with you if we need some more information. Is that ok?”
“Yes. Please find out what has been going on! I need some closure with the death of my husband. He’s been dead and buried for almost a year, but the police still have no clue of what happened.”
“Did the officer on duty ask you any of the questions we asked?”
“No. They did a cursory search, asked me if I had any idea of what happened to my husband and that sort of thing.”
“Did you file a missing-persons report?” asked Havers.
“Yes, but it was closed after they found the body. They found the body in the river close to where the most recent one was found. Cement shoes and all!”
“They didn’t suspect murder?” asked Havers.
“Well, at first, yes, they did, but they didn’t find anything relating to what happened. All the evidence had been washed away. No fingerprints, no DNA, none of that stuff,” said Mrs. Smith.
“They told you this?” asked Winston.
“Yes. I asked them point-blank.”
“Well, that’s a way to get an answer,” said Havers as she furiously scribbled information down in her detective’s notebook.
“They didn’t even investigate,” said Mrs. Smith sadly. “I don’t think they cared.”
“Well, we do care, ma’am,” said Winston. “We’ll get to the bottom of this. Here are our cards if you come upon some more information that you want to give us. We need to go talk to the other people involved in this crime now,” he said as he handed the cards over to the woman. “We’ll be in touch with any more information we can share with you.”
“I appreciate it very much,” said Mrs. Smith. “Let me show you out.”
They walked to the door with Mrs. Smith behind them. “I will call as soon as I think of something more,” she said.
“Thank you very much, ma’am,” said Winston. “We will be in touch.”
The two detectives headed to Winston’s car. Havers was going over her notes and clarifying things for herself. Winston started the car, and Havers asked, “What time is it?”
“Look down at the bloody dash, won’t you? I’ve got a clock there!”
“Humph,” Havers huffed, and looked down. “Two-thirty PM. It should be about nine-thirty AM in the States, don’t you think? Maybe when we get back to the Met we can call those FBI agents?”
“Yeah,” said Winston. “But I think you should do the talking. You know more about the case than I do.”
“Good point. How about some lunch first?”
“That sounds good. Fish and chips?” asked Havers.
“Sure,” said Winston as he turned the car into a small establishment on the left. He parked, and they went in.
They both went in, ordered, received their food, and sat down. Havers started picking through her fish when Winston asked “Anything new?”
Havers almost choked on her chips when he asked that question. “Nothing, really.”
“Nothing? Really? You seem happier the past couple of days.”
“Good observation,” she said. “I’ve been hanging out with people more.”
“Ah… a social life, eh?”
“Something like that.” Havers looked down at her fish and chips. Should I tell Winston? she thought. Lynley was still very much on her mind. She thought of their relationship and how it was progressing. It didn’t feel right to her, to tell Winston about them. He knew that they were close, but he didn’t need to know how close, for the time being.
“Shall we make that call?” asked Winston as they pulled into the Met parking lot.
“Sure. I’ll do it,” said Havers. “Might as well.”
“Mkay,” said Winston. He left to take care of some things at his cubical while Havers dialed the FBI in Washington DC.
“Hello, I’d like to speak to Special Agent Aaron Hotchner?”
Havers paused as the man on the other end of the line identified himself.
“Yes, I’m Barbara Havers from the Metropolitan Police department in London, England. We have a case that is puzzling us over here. We were wondering if there was a comparative one in the United States?”
“Yes, well…” She proceeded to give the details of all of the murder cases they thought were linked. She also mentioned the mob connection that Lynley had come up with. Hotchner listened to her while she talked.
He responded again, with a suggestion.
“You think we should have a couple of your agents come over here and investigate? No problem. Who are you sending?”
He talked for another couple of minutes.
“Doctor Reid and Agent Prentiss? Yeah, that should be fine. Thank you.” Havers hung up the phone.
She walked over to Winston’s cubicle and asked if he was ready to go do the second interview.
“Yeah, sure,” he said. “Will we have enough time for the third?”
“Well, I’m not sure. If we do, then we’ll go, if we don’t then we’ll call them and tell them we need to reschedule. Unless they want us to talk to them late. Doesn’t really matter to me.”
“Ok. To the car then.”
Winston and Havers headed to Winston’s car yet again to conduct another interview.
This time, the house was in a slightly lower-class neighborhood from the first one. It wasn’t run down by any means, but it was smaller. Havers thought that it was close to what she was working toward. Winston looked over at her and asked, “Are you ok?”
“Yeah. Just thinking.”
He shrugged and exited the car. Havers did the same, and walked up to the door. She knocked and a woman came to the door and opened it.
“Mrs. O’Hare?” she questioned. Both she and Winston pulled their badges out of their coats and showed them to her. The woman squinted at both of the badges. When she was satisfied that they truly were members of the police she let them in.
“I’m Sargent Havers and this is Sargent Nkata. We’re re-investigating the murder of your husband and how it relates to the latest body we found in the river.
The woman sighed. “They went over this when he died. Is this really necessary?”
“Yes, ma’am. We want to solve this and stop another killing.”
“Well, you’d better come in, then.” She opened the door the rest of the way, and allowed the two detectives in.
“You’re husband was the leader of a Gamblers Anonymous group that Steven Smith and Simon Shane were members of?” asked Winston.
“Yes. He ran the group. He was a recovering gambler himself. He was free of his addiction for five years. Five years! Then he gets involved with Steve and Simon, and it starts up again! Those assholes! They allowed my husband to die!” At this, she started sobbing.
Havers and Winston looked at each other. They weren’t totally sure how to proceed. Winston moved over to where the woman was sitting and touched her shoulder. “I’m sorry this is so hard for you, ma’am, but we need to get this information to put the person or persons responsible in jail.” He tried to comfort her.
She looked at the black man sitting next to her. She stopped sobbing, sniffed, and wiped her eyes.
“Sorry, this is just hard for me to deal with. It’s only been six months.”
“Yes, we’re aware of that, but there’s been another body discovered. We think it may be related to your husband’s death,” said Havers. She opened her notebook and readied her pen. “Mr. O’Hare had a gambling problem?”
“Yes. He had it under control though. Brighton was attending and running the Gambler’s Anonymous group you mentioned. He was mentoring Steve. Things were going very well, and he was ‘off the wagon’ as he put it. He said he’d never get back on, but he must’ve at some point. He started going out late at night, just like he had when he was gambling all the time. I noticed a problem when I found casino slips in his wallet one day when I was doing the wash. He’d left them in there.”
Winston looked over at Havers. This woman wasn’t telling them anything they didn’t already know, but they let her continue.
She sniffed and said, “I confronted him. He denied everything at first, but then he started to break down. He said that he had joined a casino and was playing poker after work. He said he’d won a large sum the first time he did it, and it brought back his ‘gambler’s high’ he called it. Then he started to play more.”
“When did he disappear?” asked Winston.
“About three weeks before they found him in the river, near where your other dead man was found.”
“Thank you, ma’am,” said Havers. “I think that’s enough for now, unless you have something else to add?”
“I hope you catch the scum that are doing this!”
“Me too, ma’am, me too.”
“Thank you for your time,” said Winston as he got up from the couch.
“Just catch them, ok?” she pleaded.
“We will,” said Winston.
Havers and Winston left the house, and headed back to the Met to file paperwork and to record what they’d found. The drive was long, and they didn’t get back until after five.
“Could you call the last family and tell them we won’t be able to get to their interview?” asked Havers. “We can do it tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow’s Saturday, unless you’re planning on working on Saturday…” said Winston as he headed over to his cube.
“Then schedule it for Monday. We need to take care of this as soon as we can.”
“Yeah, I agree,” he said as he went to his cube.
Havers sat down on her chair and started entering her notes into the computer. She had to organize them and such, as well as try to cross reference things between the two interviews as well as the photographs. Just then, her mobile rang. It startled her with it’s loud ringtone and vibration against her hip.
She looked at the caller ID and smiled. It was Lynley. “’Ello,” she said into the phone.
“I thought we were meeting for dinner at your flat?” he asked.
“Aw, shit!” she exclaimed, gathering a couple of looks from the other late-workers in the office. “I totally forgot. It’s like, 7:30 now.”
“Don’t worry about it. I can go home.”
“You’re at my flat?”
Havers sighed. “I’ll be right over.”
“Ok. I miss you.”
“Miss you too.” Havers snapped the mobile shut and smiled to herself.
“Right over where?” asked Winston. “You seemed happy. Are you seeing anyone?”
“Uhm. My flat. Yeah, there’s somebody waiting for me. I promised them dinner.”
“Oh. A man?”
“Uh…” Havers stalled.
“You do! Barbara has a boyfriend!”
“Shut up, Winnie. He’s just a friend. We’re gonna have dinner, and then he’s gonna go home. Nothing to it.” She gathered her purse and her belongings. “Now, I have to go.”
“Don’t forget to kiss him goodnight!” sang Winston as she hurried out the door.
Havers turned around and glared at him. She just hoped he didn’t know who it was. She’d die if the other detectives, especially Winston, knew that Lynley and she were having a relationship.
Havers went out to her mini and prayed that it would start. It did, and she motored off to her flat.
She saw Lynley’s Bristol parked in a spot outside her flat. He was waiting on the stoop, holding two bags. One looked like a duffel and the other looked like a take-out bag. He was also gathering some looks from her neighbors. She noticed Azahar looking though his curtains, as well as the nosy retiree across the way peeking through her blinds. She parked in a relatively close spot, and exited her car. She hurried up to the stoop, and unlocked the door.
Lynley kept trying to slide his arms around her. “Stop it,” she hissed as she turned the knob.
“Why?” he asked as they entered.
She closed the door behind him and then grabbed his shirt and pulled him close, kissing him on the lips.
“That was unexpected…” he said.
“Thank you. I’m trying to be more unexpected. Also, I didn’t want you to hug me on the stoop because my neighbors are nosy. They’ll spend all of this weekend asking who is trying to make out with me on my stoop!”
Lynley laughed. “I’m glad I live in an upscale, posh neighborhood, where people don’t care what you do.”
“Lucky you. What’d you bring?”
“Leftovers from beef stew night. You really liked it before, I figured…”
“Thanks. I’m starving!”
She grabbed the take-out-like bag out of his hands and opened it at the counter. She divided the stew into two bowls and put the rolls on a plate. She slid both bowls into the microwave, pushed a bunch of buttons, and it started warming up. “Do you want to get some utensils out?”
“Sure,” said Lynley. He opened up the drawers near the sink and took out a couple forks and spoons. He put them on the little table near her kitchen and looked at Havers. She was waiting impatiently by the microwave for the food to be ready. Soon it beeped.
She took the bowls out of the microwave, stirred them both, and put them on the table. “What do you want to drink?” she asked.
“What do you have?”
“Uhm… Water, beer, Coke…”
“I’ll have a water.”
Havers went to the refrigerator and took out two bottles of water. She sat down again, and started digging into the food. “This is really good,” she said to Lynley, “even better the second time around.”
They ate in silence for the rest of the meal. It was a welcome change to Havers’ day. She’d been busy.
“How’d the interviews go?” asked Lynley after they finished eating.
“Not too bad. The first one went pretty well and the second corroborated what we had from the first. All we have to do now is finish the third, which is scheduled for Monday, and we’ll have the interviewing done for the victims families.”
“Wow. You’ve been busy.”
“Yeah. I also called the FBI. They’re sending a couple agents because of an American connection.”
“Agents Prentiss and Reid. I’ve heard Reid is a doctor. Interesting.”
“Hmmm,” said Lynley.
“Well, maybe I should clean this up,” said Havers, as she picked up the dishes and took them to the sink to be rinsed.
“You want help?”
“Nah. I’ve got it, and I’ve got a dishwasher.”
“Ok.” Lynley started wandering around her place, looking at her stuff. “Barbara?” he asked.
“Aww, bloody hell. Let me take care of that.” Havers had finished rinsing the dishes and then rushed out of the kitchen to the living room. She had been doing laundry the other day, and hadn’t finished taking care of it.
Lynley smiled to himself.
After taking care of her clothes, she came back out of her bedroom. He was standing there, looking bored. “Come in, if you want,” Havers said with a small smile.
“Uh, thanks?” said Lynley. He walked into her room. It was small, with a double bed and a dresser. “Double?” he asked.
“Yeah. I upgraded in case I had an overnight guest. Hasn’t happened yet,” she said wistfully. Then she looked at him. “You were planning on staying?”
“If you don’t mind.”
“Of course not.”
“You brought a bag?”
“Yeah. Just some extra clothes and stuff.”
Havers smiled. “What do you want to do now?” Havers asked nervously.
“Anything you want,” said Lynley, as he plopped down on the bed.
“Mind if I sit next to you?”
“Why would I mind?”
Havers shrugged and sat down next to him. She let Lynley wrap his arm around her and pull her into him. He lowered his head down and captured her lips in a quick kiss. “I’m glad you’re in my life,” Lynley said. “You’ve helped me get through so much of this stuff with Helen’s death.”
“Well, some people would accuse me of taking advantage of you.”
“How so?” asked Lynley.
“Well, your wife dies and two weeks later, I’m sleeping with you? Looks like I swooped in like a vulture and am taking advantage of you…”
“You can’t think that. I’ve thought about us for a while now.”
“Even when Helen came back?”
“Really? Interesting,” said Havers. “I didn’t think you thought of me like that.”
“Well,” started Lynley, “I’ve liked you for a while.”
Lynley continued, “I was considering asking to spend more time with you before Helen came back, but I didn’t want her to come back, then I leave you. It’s just too much.”
Havers smiled up at him again. “You are pretty considerate. But what I don’t get is how quickly things changed. I mean, Helen comes back and you start doing whatever together…”
“Say it like it is, Havers. We were sleeping together.”
“Uhm, yeah. Anyway… I just don’t understand why you took her back.”
“She and I… have… had a strange relationship. I was, and still am, deeply in love with her.”
Havers looked down at her lap. “So, you don’t love me?” she asked quietly.
“I didn’t mean that!” exclaimed Lynley.
“You know I’ve been hurt before,” said Havers.
“Yes, but you haven’t said anything about it, really.”
“No, because it’s painful.” Havers sighed. “I thought I was in a relationship where he really loved me. It was A-level, right before you go off to University. Although, I wasn’t on track to go to a university. I was on track to go into a career-development program. Job-training, essentially. The young man I was with… he was about a year older than me. I thought he was the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was totally in love with him.”
She looked up at Lynley, with tears in her eyes. Lynley looked down at her and kissed the top of her head. “You don’t have to keep going if you don’t want to.”
“I do. Anyway, we were together one night at his parents’ flat. They were gone and we had the place to ourselves. It started out just fine, but I changed my mind near the end. He didn’t like that and kept going.” She dragged in a ragged breath.
Lynley looked down at her. He was shocked. No wonder she has such a bad attitude toward men sometimes he thought. “Barbara,” he said, “you’re safe with me.”
“Thank you.” It was at that moment the tears fell out of her eyes. Lynley wrapped his arm around her, and he lowered her to the bed and laid down next to her.
They laid like that for a while, Lynley holding Havers while she sobbed. Her back was to him and her body was wracked with her private pain. “Barbara?” asked Lynley when it seemed like her crying had stopped.
She sniffed. “Yes?”
“Would you roll over, please?”
This struck her as odd. She complied anyway.
“Thanks. I wanted to see you.”
Havers frowned. “I don’t think you want to see me right now,” she sniffed. “I feel all.. icky.”
He smiled at her. He saw the trails on her face where the tears had flown. She was trying to wipe them away with the sleeve of her shirt, when he stopped her. “Don’t,” he said. He took the sleeve of his shirt and wiped the tears off of her face. She closed her eyes.
“And then there’s Azahar.”
This took Lynley by surprise. “Azahar?” he questioned.
Her eyes where still closed when she told Lynley. “I thought I was in love with him too. We did have something, but his ex-wife by British law, wife by Hindu law keeps coming back into his life. It’s very complex, and we’ve decided not to pursue anything.”
Lynley looked down at Havers. Her eyes were still closed. He paused. This was something he wasn’t too sure about. “So, he’s divorced by British law, but still married by Hindu law?”
“Something like that. He had a hard time explaining it, so we decided not to pursue a relationship right now. That kind of broke my heart.”
“You have a good way of hiding that. I wouldn’t be able to.”
“You’re a part of the upper class!” exclaimed Havers. “Stiff upper lip and all that BS.”
“Yeah, but it doesn’t work that way.”
Lynley closed his eyes and held Havers closer to him. He had this overwhelming urge to protect her, even though all he could do was to hold her while she poured her heart out to him. She shivered.
“Are you cold?” asked Lynley.
“Yes. Should we pull the covers up?”
“Good idea.” Lynley took his shoes off and put them under the bed. He also took Havers’ shoes off and put them next to his. She pulled the covers down and they both slipped in under them. “Warmed up?” he asked her.
“I feel better now,” said Havers.
“Are you sure?” asked Lynley.
Havers closed her eyes and relaxed. The last time she had a man in her bed was when Azahar came over and they fooled around. Granted, he did stop when she asked him to, but her bed was a place she wasn’t comfortable with anyone else in it besides her. Lynley wasn’t going to push. She snuggled against him. It was different with him. She felt safe.
Lynley felt Havers relax and snuggle into him. He was wonderfully comfortable under the covers of her bed with her. His body, unfortunately, was reacting to her closeness. He didn’t want to convey that all he wanted was to have sex with her. Actually, it was totally on the contrary. He just wanted to sleep with her next to him. Maybe things will change in the morning he thought. Although, he shouldn’t push in the relationship. He closed his eyes and soon fell asleep.