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Laws of Motion

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Chapter 1 - Pink

The music was loud.

More than hear it, Katya could feel it.

She could feel the waves of sound pulsing all through her body. She could feel her blood running through her veins to the rhythm of the unfamiliar song. Her eyes were closed as her ears filled with the blaring noises of the club, clashing and mixing together. Her arms were up in the air as she allowed her mind to go blank. Her body responded to the movements dictated both by the music and the hands of the stranger holding her hips.

She could feel the man’s fingers digging into her flesh, but she didn’t mind. She could feel his semi-erection against her ass, but she didn’t care. She liked it. She liked the fact that she was utilizing him. Right in that moment, he was nothing but an object to her. He might as well be a wall she was slamming her body against while dancing, he had as much importance. His reaction to the way her body moved was all she was looking for. She liked that power. Taking advantage of that power, of the symbolic grip she had on the guy, she turned around in his arms. Her hips pressed hard against his. She could feel him through her tight skirt. If there hadn’t been clothes between them, they could very easily be fucking already.

She knew that.

He knew that.

His stare told her as much.

That was the only reason why she turned around and walked away. He called after her but she didn’t listen. One of her hands went up in the air, dismissing him completely. He really had nothing else to offer her.

She made her way through the crowd. The dance floor was completely packed and she loved to feel the pressure of hot bodies against her own, even if it was just for a second. The only problem was, it was too hot and she was sweating. She needed a break.

With a little bit of trouble she managed to step away from the moving bodies, and went to find her friends. They were all drinking and dancing in the little private area. That particular booth was permanently reserved for them. That was the type of privilege they got for being regulars at the club. The seats of the small round tables were not always filled, but that night was a special occasion.

“That was quick. Did you fuck him already?” Violet swung her long ponytail from one shoulder to the other. Her dark hair shone with the fluorescent lights blinking behind her.

Katya laughed at her assumptions, her head shaking in disbelief. “You are rotted!” And that was all the attention she dedicated to the matter.

She went around the circle, pretending to give lap dances to those sitting down, and watched them get shit-faced as she sipped from her tall glass of Coke. She felt happy, she felt alive, she felt completed. There were no visible cares in the world. All the people that mattered to her the most were right there, in that stinky booth, having fun and enjoying themselves. If only things could stay like that forever, or at least for a little bit longer, but they couldn’t. Because time waited for no man, nor woman, and life went on, leaving behind whoever wasn’t ready to catch up.

Suddenly, she noticed the bucket in the center getting empty, when it had been filled to the rim with beer bottles not so long ago. Placing her fingers between her lips, she whistled in the direction of the bar.

Her eyes caught a girl sitting alone on one of the stools. Her hair was blonde, flat-ironed, and parted in the middle. It went all the way down to her waist, creating a remarkable contrast against the bright pink dress she was wearing. Her shoulders went up and down at an erratic pace, not really following the beat of the song.

The bartender whistling back took Katya out of her trance. She shook the empty bucket, the remaining ice cubes rattling inside. No other explanation was needed and the bartender sent a waiter her way, to retrieve the bucket to be filled again.

Her eyes were glued to the girl during this entire time. She watched her fingers rapidly tap against her phone, probably sending text messages that she was going to regret in the morning. Her head hung low. She was most likely crying. Her long fingers wrapped around the neck of a beer bottle, and she seemed to down it all in one swing. Katya had to guess it hadn’t been completely full; the girl didn’t look like the type that could drink an entire bottle of beer at once.

A waiter finally approached her, new round of beers in his hand, making her stop her observations. For the time being, she forgot about the girl drinking alone at the bar, and she concentrated her attention on making sure everybody had a drink in their hands.

It wasn’t necessary, but she couldn’t miss the chance. She drank the last bit of her soda and made her way through the crowd again.

“Hey, Bob!” Katya approached the bar, the empty glass high in the air. “Oops, sorry. I touched you.” She apologized when she felt her arm bump against the person on the tall stool. The girl simply looked away, hiding her face behind the curtain of straight hair. “Another one, please and thank you.”

Bob took the glass from her hand and reached for a new can of Coca-Cola. “Coming right up!”

The process was simple, but took the bartender enough to give Katya time to analyze the blonde girl. She still wouldn’t look in Katya’s direction, which gave her the freedom to shamelessly scan her up and down. She was cute. Really cute.

Bob finally gave her the long glass back, filled with ice cubes and bubbling soda.

“You are the best.” She flashed her biggest smile his direction. “Put it on my tab, and, please, give Depressed Malibu Barbie over here a double of whatever she’s drinking,” she said as she turned around to leave.

She heard a loud ‘I’m not…’ coming from the girl but Bob quickly cut her off.

“Just take the drink.”

Without looking at them again, Katya made it back to her friends. She stepped on the cushions of the booth, holding on to someone’s shoulder for balance.

“Hi, yes, hello. May I please have your attention, you dirty whores?”

Everyone around her stopped what they were doing. They turned to look at her with amusement on their faces. Nobody knew what to expect, but were perfectly aware that there was not one time that Katya didn’t make them laugh with her speeches.

“Thank you, thank you. As you know, Miss Ginger Minj over here, AKA female Danny DeVito, AKA Tony Soprano, AKA...” She had to stop mid-sentence, laughing hysterically at her own words as everybody else chuckled slightly. “AKA my best friend and partner, decided to abandon us all and get an early retirement.”

She exaggerated a face of disappointment, only as a cover-up for the real sadness that had invaded her for months. Ginger had recently gotten married, and she was the happiest she had been in her entire life. It didn’t surprise anybody when she let them know she was leaving, wanting to dedicate her entire attention to her husband and the new life they were about to start.

“You will be greatly missed,” Katya continued with put-on solemnity. “Luckily, your BO will linger around the halls forever.” There was one more pause as she recovered from her own joke, before she actually turned serious. “Come on, now, raise your glasses and join me in the celebration of the one and only, the multitalented, the incomparable, the often imitated but never duplicated, Ginger Minj! May her smoker’s breath continue to infest every room she ever walks into, may her big juicy ass only grow bigger and juicier, and may that new husband of hers fuck her so hard every night that she can never walk straight again.”

There was a round of laughter as her friends lifted their drinks to her words.

“To Ginger!” She ended loudly, making the people around her to repeat in unison. The words were followed by the sound of bottles and glasses clinking with each other.

She got down and hugged her friend. The smile was still on her face when she turned around in the direction of the bar again. The mysterious girl was looking at her, or at them, probably their toasting had called her attention. Katya wasn’t sure. All she knew was that she was intrigued by the girl, hiding behind the heavy layers of makeup that made it impossible to even look at her eyes.

Katya would later learn that her name was Trixie, that her heart had just been broken, and that she tasted sweeter than any other girl that had ever ridden her face. For the time being, she was reduced to a sad woman, drinking alone at the bar, wearing a pink dress and too much makeup.

It was very unusual of Trixie to be doing so, she had to admit as much to herself, but the circumstances called for it. The rough and sudden shift in her perfect little life didn’t seem to have any other solution but to drown it in alcohol.

She had been there before. She had been hurt by a man before, but never like this. This time it felt different. She wasn’t even sure why she had such strong feelings about it. Things had been good, but there was no reason for her to be destroyed about the end of her relationship.

Her finger unlocked the phone, even when it didn’t show any new notifications. She went to the messaging app and opened a specific conversation. It could barely be called that, if she was being honest. Nothing but blue bubbles appeared on her screen, filling up the right hand side of the unilateral discussion. The smiley emoji wearing a cowboy hat, followed by pink hearts and sparkles, at the top of the screen, suddenly made her feel sick.

Drunk texting was never a good idea, she knew as much, she was smart enough to know that. The pressure in her chest, the pain in her soul, and the alcohol running through her veins, gave her enough courage to type yet another message.

Thank you for teaching me what true love ISN’T.

She backspaced the entire thing, deleting the message and starting over.

You just made me realize how much I don’t need you.

That was a lie. She did need him. She did miss him. Or at least she missed how it felt to be loved by someone; but that was a feeling that had been gone for some time now. They had lived miles and miles and hours apart, but they had been able to make it work. She would visit him every other weekend, and he would take a trip down to meet her whenever he was available. Through many phone and FaceTime calls is that they had made it possible to stay together even when being apart. Trixie had to wonder if that was the reason why they lasted so long, because they didn’t really see each other. If she had to put together all the days they actually spent together in the course of so many years, they wouldn’t sum up to more than a few months.

With a heavy sigh, she pushed the button to lock her phone again.

No message was sent.

She looked around instead, noticing for the first time how loud the music was. She had been immersed in her own pathetic little world that she had taken no regard on the people partying behind her.

The spinning of the stool was enough to make her dizzy, she decided to sit still, like she had been doing the whole night, and asked for another beer.

The tall man behind the counter, Bob, looked at her with a side grin. “Girl, don’t get me wrong. I’m from New York. I’m all about getting plastered and then riding the train home at the same time that people are going to work.” He laughed at his own words, taking the empty bottle from her hand. “Are you sure about that drink?”

“Oh, my God! I’m so glad you asked!” Trixie’s sarcasm was not missed by the bartender who laughed wholeheartedly. “Yes, I’m sure about that fucking drink.”

The beer was placed in front of her, then a bottle of water landed right next to it. “Meet me halfway?” The guy asked with the same shit-eatting grin.

Trixie rolled her eyes, but took the cap off of the water bottle anyways. “I’d really appreciate it if you stayed away from my business. Thank you.”

He lifted his hands in surrender and moved along to serve other customers. No other words were said. For a moment, Trixie was sad the interaction was over. She had finally been given a distraction from her own destructive thoughts and she had pushed it away. All she could do now was watch the bald man as he laughed and handed out glasses filled with liquor. Trixie wondered if he was giving them a hard time as well, if he was always protective of his customers or if he had felt pity for her. She was drinking alone, and visibly crying, after all.

That had to stop immediately.

She drank the entire water bottle at once, not really realizing how much her body needed it until the first drops touched her tongue, and stood up. With the phone in her hand, she made her way to the bathroom. Walking was a struggle, and her high heels were not helping. Maybe she was, indeed, drunk.

She entered the last stall of the row. Her body felt heavy as she sat on the toilet. Her elbows landed on her knees and she let her head drop to her hands.

As Trixie was receiving the epiphany that she needed while peeing, on the other side of the club Katya felt claustrophobic. There were too many people in the small space with the extremely low roof. The room felt hot and air was not circulating enough. Ironically, she knew that the thing she needed to be able to breathe at peace again was a cigarette.

She stepped outside and the warm breeze hit her face. It was as much as she could ask for a LA night and she took it gladly. Up until that moment she hadn’t realized just how sweaty she was. The belt around her waist was too tight, making it even harder for her to breathe normally. She liked her top, and was grateful for picking something see-through. It allowed air to flow and her tattoos to show, but the feeling of mech against her arms and torso was itchy. She could feel every piece of clothing sticking to her skin. It wasn’t a nice feeling but it was one that she was rather used to.

The calming effects of the nicotine worked wonders right away. She could feel her lungs expanding as they filled with smoke. Her thoughts immediately stopped racing and a sense of utter peace enveloped her whole.

She kicked pebbles with the tip of her shoe. One arm was wrapped around her waist, the other one finding support on it to place the cigarette to her lips. Everything around her was quiet. And she liked it that way. She could see the cars driving on the street, their lights bright enough to reach her all the way at the end of the alley.

Her peaceful moment was disrupted by the back door of the club opening roughly. The girl from the bar walked out, her steps stomping hard against the pavement as she walked with alcohol induced confidence.

“That’s right,” she said to the phone glued to her ear. “I am walking to the dumpster right now. I am taking the key out of my purse,” she narrated her every move. “If you don’t say anything right now I will throw it in there, and you will never see me again.” There was a pause, which clearly didn’t give her the answer that she was looking for. “Fine. It’s done. Bye, see you never,” she assured as the small piece of metal landed on trash bags with a small thud. “I guess you don’t love me after all.”

Forcefully, she pressed the red button to end the phone call. She turned around and spotted Katya for the first time.

“Ex-boyfriend?” Katya asked, respectfully blowing smoke in the opposite direction.

Trixie nodded her head. “Ex-boyfriend’s voicemail, to be exact.”

Katya smiled, throwing the butt of the cigarette on the ground and stepping on it. “You are too hot for him anyways.”

Her eyes grew wide open in surprise. “How do you know that? You don’t know him, or me.”

“But I have eyes, and I can see you are hot, Barbie doll.”

“Trixie, my name is Trixie.”

“Nice to meet you, Trixie. Say, do you feel like dancing the depression away?”

The girl extended her hand and Trixie took it, allowing the total stranger to pull her back inside. She didn’t realize, but Trixie never got the girl’s name. It didn’t seem to matter then, not when their bodies grinded together and the music did all the talking. The name was going to be a big deal in a few hours, though, when Trixie’s orgasm was going to rip her to pieces and she was not going to know which name to scream in delight. Right that instant, however, it was irrelevant.

Trixie allowed Katya to press her body against hers, to let the song that was playing loudly from the speakers to provide the necessary words to fill up the space around them. It felt good. It felt nice to have soft skin brushing against her own. It felt electrifying when nails dug on her flesh. It felt hot when the perfectly round ass rubbed against her crotch.

Hot.

It was hot, both the room and their dance. Katya was a complete mystery and an enigma. She would whisper silly nothings into her ear, making Trixie laugh with joy, and, at the same time, use her body to set Trixie’s on fire. She had never felt like this before, so free, so careless, so turned on. Trixie knew her heart was still torn into a million pieces, but the thin girl exploring her body with her hands, was melting her in such a way that the broken parts seemed to glue themselves back together.

Everything around her was spinning, and Trixie didn’t seem to find another anchor that it wasn’t Katya’s body crashing against her own. She became the gravity center that she needed. And the pull was so strong that Trixie couldn’t help it when she suddenly found herself pressing her lips against the other woman’s. This was something completely new to her, but the feeling was so amazing that she didn’t want to deprive herself from it.

Katya smiled for a moment, moving her lips to Trixie’s ear. “You are drunk, bitch.”

The new position only allowed Trixie to plant a kiss on Katya’s neck, never stopping the swaying of their bodies. “So are you, so what’s the problem?” she said against her skin. She simply couldn’t stop herself. She wanted– she needed more of her. “Wanna get out of here?”

Katya pushed her away, just enough to look her in the eye. “Are you sure? You may regret this in the morning.”

“Are you really that bad in bed?”

Both looked at each other for a moment, before erupting in uncontrollable laughter. Katya was the first one to recover her voice. “I’ll grab my stuff.”

“I’ll get us an Uber.”

The car drive was made in silence. Katya had enough conscience to leave some space between them in the backseat. Trixie had been drinking, a lot. Katya wanted to give her that time to sober up and think if that was really what she wanted. Trixie seemed to be doing just that. Katya observed her from the far end of the seat, kept a close eye in the way she looked out the window, the city lights making the glitters on her face shine bright. It was a beautiful sight of a beautiful girl.

Trixie was completely aware of Katya’s eyes on her. She liked that feeling. Something in the bottom of her stomach had been set on fire, and the heat spread all the way down to her most private area, making her throb with desire she had never felt before. It was new and interesting and she couldn’t wait to explore the feeling some more.

She turned around abruptly, expecting Katya to look away and pretend she wasn’t watching her, but she didn’t.

“Are you one hundred percent sure you wanna do this?”

If there was any trace of doubt in Trixie’s mind, the sincerity in Katya’s eyes made it fly out the window. “Are you kidding me? Yes, of course I am.”

They both held their stares for a moment too long until Trixie extended her hand, taking Katya’s and interwinding their fingers. Still holding hands, they walked inside the apartment building. It wasn’t until they were inside the elevator that Katya even tried to make a move.

“Come here, Mamma.”

Trixie did as she was told. With a side smile on her face, she moved to stand right in front of Katya, towering her. Each of her hands flanked Katya’s head as she leaned forward, pressing her lips softly against hers. It wasn’t a kiss, not really, it was a tentative move, almost as if they were testing the feeling under these new circumstances. There was no loud music or sweaty people dancing around them. There was nobody but them in that small metallic box, space that kept feeling smaller and smaller the longer they kissed. Because the elevator was not big enough to contain the immense waves of desire that washed over them like tsunami tides.

The door slid open with a ding, revealing their own image reflecting on the mirror across from them. They looked a hot mess. Katya stared at herself, at the mascara creating dark circles under her eyes, where it mixed with the liner that had already ran. Her hair was gone beyond the point of no return.

If she had gotten into this state, just by dancing, she couldn’t imagine how she was going to look like walking out of that apartment, all fucked out by the real size Barbie doll dragging her through the narrow hallway.

They stopped by the door with the letter F on the front. Trixie pulled her closer, her lips once again meeting Katya’s as her hand fished the key in her purse. Doing both things at the same time proved to be too difficult for her, but she didn’t stop either. She allowed her mouth to continue devouring Katya’s as she pushed the key into the knob. Her tongue was running against each of Katya’s teeth when the front door closed with a bang.

“You need to take off your shoes,” Trixie informed her between kisses. She turned around and found stability on the wall in front of her, trying to kick off her high heels.

That was when she felt Katya’s hands on her ass. “I think you need to take off your panties.”

What happened next, Trixie felt in slow motion. Her eyes closed when her dress had been moved up. Katya’s finger hooked on the sides of her underwear and she pulled it down her legs. Trixie’s hands were planted on the wall, holding on for dear life, when she first felt Katya’s tongue against her center. Her legs spread by themselves, giving Katya more access. Her back arched, as she forcefully pushed herself against Katya’s mouth. She pressed her front hard against the wall, just because her upper half needed some attention as well.

Nobody had ever eaten her out like that.

Nobody had made her legs feel like rubber with simple touches like that.

Nobody had brought her so near an orgasm within the first few seconds like that .

She could have been softly moaning, she could have been screaming loudly, she didn’t care. Except that, when a particularly loud moan escaped her lips, suddenly something came to mind.

“Oh, my God. Kim!”

Katya smiled against her thigh, kissing it softly, and speaking against her skin. “Oh, so you wanna role play?”

“No, you stupid.” Trixie stood up straight, reluctantly moving away from her spot, away from Katya’s hot lips. “Kim is my roommate. I don’t know if she’s ho–” She couldn’t even finish her sentence when she fully looked at Katya, kneeled down right next to the front door, mouth and chin wet, both with saliva and what Trixie could only imagine was her own arousal. She bit her lower lip, her want increasing by the second. “You are so hot.”

Katya took Trixie’s extended hand and allowed her to pull her up. Katya let her take the lead as Trixie kissed her roughly one more time, forcing her to walk backwards and guiding her towards the bedroom. Their lips never parted until they reached the last door at the end of the small apartment.

Trixie walked inside and turned on the light on the bedside table. Suddenly they were surrounded by nothing but pink. The shade on the lamp was bright pink, bright enough to almost drown the different shades of the same color around the room. The pillows, the sheets, the comforter, and even the picture frames on the wall, were all pink.

Her observations stopped once Trixie entered her space again. “I want you so bad,” she whispered so low it barely reached Katya’s ear. But she heard it, and she took the invitation happily.

She reached down and took a hold of the hem of Trixie’s dress, pulling it up and above her head. With deft fingers she found the hooks of her bra and Trixie put her arms down so it could slide off of her. There she stood, one of the most amazingly beautiful girls she had ever seen before in all her naked glory. Her breasts were full, and her small waist provided the perfect contrast for her fleshy hips. She pushed Trixie on the bed, making her land softly against the mattress.

Without even thinking about it, she knelt down between her opened legs again. She could tell Trixie was not expecting to have sex that night, which turned Katya on even more. She ran her fingers through the slightly uneven pubic hair until she found her entrance. The first finger entered with ease, making Trixie’s hips buckle up to the touch. Katya moved it around in circles, preparing the girl for the second one, which she took without a problem. When the third finger found its rightful place inside of Trixie, Katya made sure her mouth paid attention to the delicate bundle of nerves as well.

Katya fucked her with her fingers and her mouth for what felt like an eternity. The scream-like moans falling out of Trixie’s lips were enough to make her feel close to the edge herself.

Just when she felt Trixie’s walls clenching around her fingers, everything stopped. Trixie pushed herself up, propping herself on her elbows. “Can I sit on your face?”

“I thought you’d never ask,” Katya replied with a smile.

She stood up, removing her belt in the way. Her top found the floor right after, and Trixie helped her unzip her skirt and toss it to the side.

It was now her turn to lay her back on the mattress. Trixie’s thighs flanked her head and she couldn’t wait to have her again. She stretched her neck and gave her a quick lick. Trixie giggled and held onto the headboard, asking her to wait until she was ready. Katya couldn’t. She reached up and caressed Trixie’s breasts as her tongue entered her over and over. The mixture of sensations had Trixie reaching her orgasm almost immediately. Trixie’s legs gave out and she literally sat on Katya’s face, her thighs sending her to a blissful state of suffocation. Even that wasn’t enough to stop Katya, she continued licking her, sending electroshocks through her already sensitive body.

“I want to taste you,” Trixie said after a few seconds, her body was still recovering from the earth-shattering orgasm.

Katya didn’t protest. She saw how the girl started a trail of kisses down her body, dedicating extra time to her breasts. Nobody had to tell her, Katya knew Trixie had never been with another woman before, she could tell by the way she bit on her nipples, the way she unskillfully sucked on them. That was the reason why she paid close attention when Trixie’s face got lost between her legs. She wanted to see her reaction, which was just how she expected.

“You know, you don’t have to do it if you don’t like it,” Katya said with a reassuring smile.

Trixie’s face relaxed from its contorted state. “No, I do want to.”

No other word was spoken. Katya closed her eyes to the feeling of wet tongue and hot lips. Turned out the girl was pretty good at it. Her tongue went up and down and around, in patterns of a few seconds that already had Katya losing her mind. Her hands took a hold of Trixie’s hair, trying to find anything that could ground her to her Earthly surroundings. She truly felt as if she could touch the sky in that mere instant. It only took one hard suck from Trixie on her most sensitive spot to have Katya screaming out her name. Her hands pressing Trixie’s face against her core so she wouldn’t move from her spot.

As soon as she relaxed, Trixie moved up to lie down next to her. She wrapped an arm and a leg around her, and Katya had no energy to move her away.

“Will you stay the night?” Trixie asked, kissing her shoulder. Her eyes already closed from exhaustion.

Katya didn’t reply, because she couldn’t. She couldn’t stay the night. She waited until Trixie fell asleep to extract herself from her embrace. Katya found her clothes scattered around the floor and turned off the small lamp. Walking out of the room, she got dressed by the front entrance. When she put on her shoes, she spotted the pink thong she had rolled down Trixie’s legs and picked it up. She stuffed it in the pocket of her jacket as she exited the apartment, closing the door behind her as quietly as she could.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2 - Red.

“Will you fuck off? But, like, all the way off?”

Trixie’s head snapped up to the sound of the familiar laughter following those words. She heard it for the first time two nights prior, and it hadn’t left her mind throughout the weekend. There were many things that were imprinted into her brain that Friday night; a pair of tattooed arms, a set of hot lips, a wet tongue, but, most importantly, a wheezing laughter.

As she had expected, the girl she took home from the club walked into the bullpen, disposable coffee cup in hand, and the woman she was hugging the other night right by her side.

“But think about it,” the redhead said, mouthfuls of muffin interrupting her speech. “It makes so much sense. Unless you are doing it naked, you are never really done with laundry.”

The blonde doubled over in laughter, her unnaturally bright teeth at full display. Her red shirt had just the right amount of buttons opened to show her breasts as she tried to control her breathing. Trixie didn’t even notice how she was biting her own bottom lip to the sight of the cleavage. She was too busy absorbing every move of the beautiful woman to realize what her own body was doing. Memories of what it had been like to have those smiling lips kissing her all over cluttered her mind; until she was burst out of her bubble by her new boss.

“Trixie, you can come in now.”

Katya’s laughter stopped at once. That name was rather uncommon, she had only heard it once before in her life. The odds of the life size Barbie doll, that she had fucked a few days before, being there in the same precinct, were slim to none. Yet, there she was. The girl from the bar was walking inside the office across the room as Captain Charles closed the door behind them.

She could still see them through the window. She could see how Captain Charles calmly moved his lips, clearly explaining something in his very professional way; but then he started laughing out loud. His bald head was thrown forward, dangerously close to the desk in front of him, and his glasses caught the reflection of the light above them. Seeing him laugh like that had a feeling invading Katya that she couldn’t really decipher. She was not sure if it was the fact that she had made it her mission to make the captain laugh at least once a day since years ago, or the fact that she hadn’t been able to fully get to know Trixie’s sense of humor. She only got the Depressed Malibu Barbie version, after all. Instead of dwelling on the feeling, she decided to go back to work. Filing reports took forever but she had to do it at some point.

Trixie was not sure how long she spent in the boss’ office but, when she walked out, she couldn’t help but feel pleased with herself. All the paperwork needed for her transfer was taken care of, the results of her many exams had been reviewed, and RuPaul Charles, the eminence himself, had congratulated her for such amazing work. He then walked her to the adjacent room, promising a proper presentation to the squad at the midmorning briefing, which was about to start.

She walked behind him, entering the already filled room, feeling like the new kid in school. Luckily, there was an empty chair next to the door, and she took it in a swift motion. She sat behind the long table and didn’t even dare to look back, nervous to make eye contact with any of her new coworkers.

The person next to her nudged her slightly. She turned around to see a girl with a big smile, the gesture looked sincere. “Hey, Jush!” She said in a shout. Trixie flinched a little, since everybody else in the room was chatting quietly. “I’m Jasmine.” The short bob bounced around her face as she laughed for no apparent reason. “You are gonna love it here,” she promised. “We always have so much fun.” Once more her laughter sounded loudly but, above that, it sounded welcoming. “What’s your name, Jush?”

“Guys, gather ‘round.” The voice of the captain interrupted them. Everybody went quiet and all eyes were set to the front. “Welcome to one more day in the job. It’s not an easy task, but the streets of Los Angeles are a much safer place because of you guys, so… thank you.”

He spoke with such an ease, his few sentences were delivered in a way that made Trixie believe that their job actually meant something bigger, something much more important than just cliché paperwork. She listened to the tall man, dressed in a colorful suit, as he kept reminding them just how valuable they were for the city, for him, and for each other.

“Now, remember, this town deserves nothing but the very best, that’s why, even when we are sad to see one of our brightest detectives go…” His hand pointed somewhere at the back of the room. “That also means that we are welcoming a new member of our family. Please, give a warm welcome to Detective Trixie Mattel! Come on up, darling.”

With dull claps heard from behind her, Trixie got up, walked the short distance, and stood next to the head of the squad. In a lame afterthought, she waved her hand slowly, as a pageant girl would do to the panel of judges.

Capt. Charles laughed at the action before continuing. “Detective Mattel comes from a precinct not far from here, and will take Ginger’s place as Katya’s new partner.”

Trixie’s eyes widened when she realized exactly who that was. The odds of the mysterious foreign girl, that she had fucked a few days before, being her new partner, were slim to none. Yet, there she was.

She must have done something extremely horrible in her previous life to deserve this, because there was no other valid reason for her luck to be so shitty. She always did things right, followed the rules, and went by the book. Yet, life had a thing for her. She just wanted to catch a break, a change of air. That was the reason why she had applied for the transfer. As much as she liked her previous precinct, it had started to become too small for her. She needed more, she needed something bigger. And she had gotten it.

That Friday night was supposed to be a celebration for her accomplishments, but her friends had bailed on her, her boyfriend had decided to end things, and she had slept with a woman for the first time in her life.

In that moment, she wished to come back to her old life, the one she had been fed up with the week before and now longed for. She wanted to get to work where nothing really happened, help kids find their bikes, and file reports about loaves of bread being stolen from the neighborhood’s grocery store. At some point it had been monotonous, it had been lineal, it had been boring. And one night had changed it all. Her entire world had been turned upside down, and not in the way she had expected. She spent her weekend crying, yearning for what she had lost, and craving for something that had been hers only for a couple of hours but felt like a part of her already.

When Kim asked her if she was still crying over her boyfriend, Trixie lied and said yes. Her roommate found it strange, since they weren’t particularly head over heels for each other, but didn’t ask any further. The answer made enough sense to pass as a half true. The reality was completely different. Those two days had been flooded with images of red lips and red nails, trailing her body and melting her to the bone. Her ears could hear nothing but soft moans and sensual whispers of Russian words.

She had dreams about her. Sometimes Trixie would catch herself daydreaming, other times the blonde woman found her way into her subconscious as she slept. The scenarios were endless. They would run into each other early in the morning, impatiently waiting in line for their first taste of coffee of the day. Trixie pictured them back at the club where they met, she would sit at the same stool and the woman would reach the bar and request a drink. It didn’t matter where it started, the fantasy always ended back in her room, with the air filled with panting and screams of utter pleasure. Reality would also find the same recurrent outlet, which involved her own hand inside her underwear.

Trixie never in her life had doubted her sexuality, she was straight. She liked men, a lot. She liked how they were simple creatures, with needs she could easily fulfill. Her type was very clear. The men she dated were slightly unkempt, they had beards and hairy backs. Her sexual compass had no apparent motive to be directed to the soft touch, the delicate pale skin, the long blonde hair of a random woman she had met at a club.

That same woman was now in front of her, fully aware of the discomfort she was causing her. There was no way Trixie could look at anything that wasn’t her. The color that had been haunting her dreams for two nights in a row, shone bright from across the room.

The girl in the red shirt bit her lip, trying to stop a smile from taking over her face unsuccessfully. “Oh, I get the pretty one. Sorry, Minj, I don’t know you anymore.” The girl stood up, bowing her head slightly. “My name is Yekaterina Pretovna Zamolodchikova, but you can call me… Katya,” she said in a rush, heavy tints of her accent lacing her speech. “And it’s going to be, oh, such a pleasure to have you as my partner.” The side smile didn’t go unnoticed by Trixie.

Her body weight shifted from one leg to the other, finally linking the face with the name she wished she had been able to scream as she came.

“You know,” Captain Charles spoke directly to Trixie. “Detective Zamo has the highest number of arrests in the precinct and, as far as I know, you had the highest in yours, didn’t you?”

Before she could even reply, Katya spoke again. “Oh, you are on, bitch!”

“We are on the same team,” Trixie reminded her, her hands going up in the air with disbelief, and making the room burst out laughing.

The captain smiled widely. “Ah, I can already tell you are going to make a fabulous team. Trixie, welcome to the family, and we take that term very seriously around here, it’s something that we don’t take for granted. From this moment on, you belong to a family of badass bitches!” That alone elicited a round of cheers and applause. He waited a moment before motioning for everyone to be quiet again. “Okay, I’m gonna let Sergeant Haylock to take over now.” He moved towards the door, and stopped right before exiting the room. “Oh, just one more thing… don’t fuck it up!”

And with that he was gone.

Trixie started to believe that what Jasmine told her was right. She could sense the light atmosphere of the place already creeping into her as she walked back to her seat. Sure, there was the crippling fear of facing her new partner, but everybody else seemed nice. She loved how nobody seemed afraid of cursing, not even The Boss, because her big mouth had gotten her in more than a few problems in her previous workplace. She could only hope that this sudden change of scenery actually meant a good thing for her, that all the rough changes thrown at her, out of nowhere, had come for a reason.

“Alright, you useless cunts!” The raspy voice, a complete contrast from the soothing tone of Captain Charles, brought her out of the conjuring of her possible future. “One of the bastards you failed to catch is out at it... again!” The sergeant placed his forearms on the little podium for support. “This one’s on you, Zamo.”

He pressed a few buttons on a remote control while Katya protested. Trixie took the cap off her loyal pink pen and pressed it against the glittery notebook, writing down the date at the top right corner. If the sergeant had addressed the case as Katya’s, it meant it was now hers as well.

When she looked up, the screen behind the man had illuminated, and the images that it was showing were disturbing to say the least.

“Oh, my God. The Puppeteer!” Katya said with something that sounded a lot like excitement. “He’s back!”

Trixie had to look at the screen with side eyes.

How could Katya be so ecstatic about the gruesome death of a young woman?

It looked like the girl had been sitting at her dining table; a kitchen could be seen at the back of the picture. She had her arms bent in the air, pulled up by strings attached to her hands, elbows and shoulders. Trixie right away understood the nickname given to the killer. The beautiful brunette, that couldn’t have been more than twenty years old, had her makeup done to resemble a marionette. Even though her head hung low, her eyes were opened, permanently staring blankly to the middle of nowhere. A pool of blood surrounded her feet, it was so big that it even went underneath the table. There were no apparent exit wounds, so there was no clear source for all the blood, but the amount seemed enough to determine the girl had bled to death right there on the spot.

Trixie wrote all her observations down, and made mental notes about things that needed to be clarified. For example, the picture didn’t cover the ceiling, and she needed to know where the wires were hanging from.

And all of these observations, she made them in less than a second, her trained eye was always ready to catch the smallest of details.

“Yes, it’s your damn puppeteer,” Sergeant Haylock repeated after Katya. “Care to fill us in on the case?”

Katya stood up happily. “Oh, yes, Gawd,” she agreed with a loud click of her tongue.

This was a case she had been working on for a year. Katya was sure she knew the man behind the attacks better than she knew herself. The only problem was, she couldn’t find him. It was the only unsolved case she had ever had. It had nagged at the back of her head for months, then the killings had stopped and she hit a dead end. Until now.

She reached the podium and right away called everybody’s attention. No words had left her mouth yet, but the shift in the room was evident. The vibe wasn’t solemn and inspirational, nor was it crude and sarcastic, like there had been with the men that came before her. People paid attention, took notes, respected what she had to say.

“Okay, listen up. This man is a psycho, a freak, and not the fun type that I like. He gets off by killing pretty looking girls, painting them, and hooking strings to their limbs. So far he had only attacked sex workers. Girls with no family, with nobody to file a missing person report, with hooker friends who are too scared to even talk to the police. His M.O. has been the same for months. Roy?”

She looked at the sergeant who simply nodded his head, confirming it hadn’t changed.

“This a dangerous, sick man who does not belong in the streets.” She made a dramatic pause, allowing her words to sink in. “The Minj and I will give you all the info that we have so you can keep your eyes and ears open. We can use all the help that we can get.”

The clear of a throat made her look to the back of the room. “Don’t you mean Mattel?” Ginger corrected her. “Today is my last day, darling.”

Katya quickly looked at Trixie. Her new partner. The girl was hanging to her every word. The pen in her hand had been writing non stop since Katya started her speech. The corner of her eye had registered that, even when her conscious self had deliberately ignored her. It was too much to take, she reasoned with herself. The girl was way too pretty and it was better to advert her attention from the voluptuous body. The formal wear seemed to hug her magnificent figure. She wondered if Trixie felt uncomfortable in the tight clothes. Katya did in her own, but she was nothing but skin, muscles and bones, unlike Trixie, who was all curves and flesh and just the right amount of fat settled in all the right places.

“Right.” She shook herself out of her dangerously sexy observations. “Right, right. You are right. Sorry. Tri… Detective Mattel and I will send you the profile later this afternoon.”

Instructions were given for the day, patrols assigned, cases were reviewed, and the meeting was over.

Trixie stood up, ready to leave, when Jasmine grabbed her by the arm. “Come on, Trix. I’ll show you around.”

Jasmine did just that. Never letting go of her arm, the lean woman dragged her around the place, showing her pretty much every room on every floor. After letting her know about the good bathrooms, they reached the interrogation rooms. Jasmine made a specific point about Katya preferring the last one on the left, since the air conditioner hit differently in that room, and how she constantly suffered from the heat. Jasmine said it with a laugh, as if it were a joke, but Trixie was trying to gather as much information as she could about her new partner.

In the course of half an hour, they had seen the most important parts of the building, or at least the ones Trixie was going to need. She had also heard more names that she was going to be able to recall, that was for sure. It was going to take some time but she was going to adapt, she had to. There was no other option.

They reached the bullpen again and Trixie was shown to her desk. It felt weird to sit behind it, Ginger’s stuff were still occupying the space. It didn’t feel like hers yet, but it was going to be.

She looked around the place, her new home. If things were any similar to her previous precinct, she was going to spend more time here, swamped with paperwork, than her actual apartment.

Her eyes immediately found Katya, chatting in the break room. Trixie didn’t miss the chance, she needed to talk to her before all the formalities were set into play. They had a lot of work to do and it was better to get everything out in the open. When she reached the door, determined to call her attention, she suddenly froze. Katya sat with her legs thrown over the armrest of a chair, the confined pencil skirt hugging her every curve in the uncomfortable position. A can of Redbull hung from her hand. She talked with such intensity that the girl sitting with her could do nothing but focus her sole attention on her.

“Oh, bitch,” Katya said effusively. “She sent me a good morning text, a fucking good morning text!” She slapped the arm of the girl beside her, emphasizing her words. “It gave me a boner.”

The other girl laughed with her head thrown back. “How would you know? Your dick is probably so small you can’t even find it.”

Katya’s mouth opened in mocked shock. “If you must know, you fucking cunt, even when being hypo– no, especially because it is hypothetical, my ding dong is huge, huge! It even glows in the dark.” She nodded approvingly of her own words.

“Really? And what color is this huge penis of yours?”

She pretended to give it a little bit of thinking, before pointing at the girl with her index finger. “Remind me, what’s the name of your mom’s lipstick again?”

Both girls laughed, and Trixie decided that would be a good time as any to interrupt. She cleared her throat, loud enough to make them look at her.

“Katya, can I talk to you?” This was the first time Trixie actually pronounced the name, and she was extra aware of the way it rolled from her lips, the way it made her tongue hit her front teeth. She liked it.

The girl looked at her, a knowingly smile playing on her lips. “Yeah, sure. What’s up?”

Trixie nervously looked between Katya and the other girl, who pretended to ignore them, picking at the ends of her hair.

“Alone?”

It took her a moment to react but, once she did, Katya easily swung her legs towards the back of the chair, going all the way around before finding the ground.

“Please, excuse us, Violet, my dear,” she said with an accent that was probably meant to be British. She then turned to Trixie, addressing her in her regular tone. “Come.”

Trixie moved by her side as they walked in uncomfortable silence. Or at least it felt uncomfortable to her, because Katya seemed pretty chilled. Her fingertips glided against the walls, humming a tune that Trixie had never heard before. Those were halls that she hadn’t seen with Jasmine, so she tried to pay attention to the path they walked, counting the turns they took, trying to get familiar with her surroundings, anything that could distract her from the heat exuding Katya and tickling her own skin.

Katya suddenly stopped in front of a door, took the door knob in her hand but didn’t twist it. She turned to look at Trixie instead. “Okay, now, you are about to enter my secret place. I shouldn’t even be sharing it with you. Nobody knows that I come here every now and then for… for different reasons, but this is like my safe place, so don’t tell anybody.” Her index finger pointed straight to her face. Trixie couldn’t do anything but promise she wouldn’t.

Once the door opened, shelves filled with boxes were revealed. There was a small table in the middle covered with dust. The place seemed to be untouched. The spiderwebs between the boxes told her nobody had moved them in a long time. The room was large but seemed to reduce in size with so many files spread everywhere. Against the back wall Trixie spotted a folding bed, it had messy sheets on top, as if someone had recently slept there and didn’t bother to make the bed. Next to it, on top of a pile of boxes, there was an ashtray and several candy wrappers. Trixie could see her there, she could very clearly picture Katya breaking her head over a case, not wanting to go home and going to that room instead. She could see her smoking in there, even when she shouldn’t be doing it, and popping candies into her mouth as she tried to connect the clues to make sense.

“This is the cold cases room,” Katya explained. “Nobody really comes here because, you know, the cases are cold. Duh.”

When she didn’t get a response from Trixie, she turned back around to face her. Her eyes were glued to the bedroom-like area she had set for herself a long time ago. She didn’t need to explain, she knew that Trixie understood why her stuff was there. And she wondered if Trixie had a similar place at her old building.

“So you wanted to talk.” Katya’s words came out in the form of a question, reminding Trixie why they were there in the first place.

She directed her stare to Katya again, meeting her eyes probably for the first time in the entire day. “Oh. Yeah, umm…”

“Is this about that night? About you being drunk?” Katya suddenly asked in a rush. The thought had crossed her mind throughout the day. Usually, she didn’t care much about a hookup the next morning but, yet again, she never had to see them again. And Trixie was there, big and expecting eyes looking right at her. “I asked you if you were okay, if you wanted to, and you said yes–”

Trixie lifted her hand to stop her. “No! I wasn’t that drunk. I, umm, it’s not that… not at all.”

“Oh, then what is it? If you are scared that I will tell anybody, you can be sure that’s not going to happen. I promise I won’t tell anybody.” She tried to make things easier for Trixie when she noticed her fumbling with her words, but she was not prepared for what she said next.

“You left.”

The words dropped from her lips with such hurt, with such emotion that they shook Katya to the very core.

“You didn’t really expect me–” Katya tried to reason but was interrupted.

“You said you were gonna stay the night. You promised.”

Katya raised an eyebrow, unsure of where all of that was coming from, or going to. “Well, technically, I didn’t,” she said softly, trying to make her understand. “Trixie, really, it’s no big deal. I get it. It was just sex.”

Her eyes grew wide open in shock, making Katya regret her words as soon as she said them.

“So that was it? That’s all it was for you? Just sex that happened because we had both been drinking?”

“I hadn’t…” Katya stopped herself before finishing her sentence, there was no point in explaining how she hadn’t tasted a drop of alcohol in years, and she surely wasn’t drunk that night. The girl seemed so wrapped up in her own feelings, a state Katya was more than familiar with, that no reasoning was probably going to get through her head. Instead she tried something different. “Look, alright, okay, listen. We don’t have to make this awkward, okay? You have had, umm, one night stands or, like, fuck buddies before, I presume. If you think about it, it doesn’t change things if we don’t want to. I mean, we are working together. We can make it, like, not awkward, right?”

Trixie looked at her for a moment too long, Katya could feel the brown eyes going across her face. Probably trying to read her the same way she was doing. But then Trixie nodded her head, as if reality had finally dawned on her. For a moment, Katya felt relief, she had gotten her point across. Or at least that was what she thought, until an air of determination filled Trixie’s features.

“Right. Okay. Have it your way.”

She turned around and walked away, her high heels resounding loudly through the empty hallways. Katya brought her hands up to her face, an exasperated grunt coming out from the back of her throat.

Then it hit her. She ran to the door, trying to see if she could still catch her. “Hey!” She screamed after her. “You need to help me get the boxes with the case!” She waited a few seconds but got response. “Yep. She’s not coming back. Okay, great.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 3 - Blue.

Trixie stared at the same board she had been looking at for the last two weeks.

It felt like a piece out of a movie scene, with pictures and maps and big lines connecting the information.

When she decided to be part of the police force, that was what she had expected the job to be. She had watched just enough television in her childhood to inspire that mental image. She liked the aspect of the crimes being one big puzzle, she only needed to find all the right pieces, and then put them together. She became a detective and none of that happened. She was twenty-six years old and felt like she had wasted the last five years of her life behind a desk.

Now, as she tried to make sense of the pieces of paper thumbtacked down on the cork board, she felt utterly unprepared. A single moment of doubt washed over her, and she allowed it.

Maybe she was supposed to be a desk rat.

Maybe her role in the force was supposed to be minor.

Maybe she was never supposed to have gotten that promotion.

The self-loathing was gone as quickly as it arrived. She was meant to be there. She hadn’t fought so hard to get out of her hometown, struggled to climb up the professional ladder, achieved the position she wanted, just to give up on her first case. There was no way she could give this guy, a weirdo obsessed with turning prostitutes into puppets, the power to ruin her life.

Shaking her head, to get rid of any previous thoughts, she tried to look at the evidence with new eyes.

There had been seven murders total, six over the course of the last year, and the most recent one five months later. All pictures provided the same scene but different girl. They were all at their own place, sitting at their dining table. The arms of all the girls were lifted by strings attached to the ceiling. Impeccable makeup was applied on their faces, and their bodies were completely drained of blood.

None of the apartments showed signs of forced entry, which meant they had all known the killer to some extent. That last part was still inconcrete, since the girls had nothing to connect them other that their profession. They didn’t work on the same street, didn’t have friends in common. Nothing. This man had made them trust him enough to let him into their homes.

But how?

She looked at the dots placed on the map of the city, indicating where the killings had taken place. The biggest one signaled the spot where the last body had been found.

Trixie couldn’t make sense out of them. She had tried connecting the dots, they didn’t form any shape or letter or specific form. There was no hidden message on the distributions of the murders. She had also tried to find a reason behind the actual addresses. There was no play on words with the names of the streets, and the numbers of the residencies didn’t have any resemblance.

What she needed was a break. She was sure she had memorized every piece of information on that board. The best solution would be to distance herself from it and come back with a fresh state of mind.

“There’s a saying where I come from: watching pots will never make them boil.”

When she got no response, she turned around, ready to ask Kennedy if she wanted to grab some coffee, but all she found was a sleeping body. Kennedy snoring softly was actually a lot more helpful than the awake version of her, who was always shutting down theories and never coming up with good ideas. She did more to delay the process than to help solve the case. Katya had recommended to Trixie to just let Kennedy sleep.

Katya.

Things hadn’t been as tense with Katya, as Trixie had expected. There was something about Katya that just made people want to be around her, her company was enjoyable. Trixie quickly realized that she wasn’t the only one drawn to her beyond reason. They were often being interrupted as their colleagues went to chat with her. The constant visits made their interactions easier. Trixie was never really alone with Katya for long periods, preventing awkwardness to seep into their conversations.

On more than one occasion Trixie had caught Katya staring at her, hungry eyes scanning her curves without a care. It was almost as if Katya wanted her to know that she was being watched, observed, wanted. All that Trixie had felt was uncomfortable.

Although, deep down, a small part of her had been flattered that Katya could flirt with her so openly, throwing dirty jokes at her, and making her blush in the most inappropriate times. It kind of hurt to realize that was simply her personality. There was this charm about Katya that seemed to work on both men and women, and she reveled in her bisexuality. She would shamelessly share stories about sucking a penis one day and then rant about how beautiful boobs were the next. It was such a strange sight for Trixie, who had grown up in the deep country, with the simplistic idea of a woman finding a man to put a ring on her finger, and the story would end.

In the two weeks they had been working together, Trixie had learned more about Katya’s sexual career than her actual life.

All the stories of carefree sex also weighed Trixie’s heart down a little, because it meant that she had been nothing but a notch on Katya’s bedpost. She had internally been kicking herself for that weekend she spent picturing the two of them together, not only repeating the night they had shared but turning it into something special. How naïve she had been. Her foolishness had an excuse, though, or at least that was what she kept telling herself. She had just been dumped. Her mind wasn’t thinking straight, her heart wasn’t feeling properly, her soul wasn’t directing the pain to the right person. It was a more than valid reason.

The amount of work they had to go through had also played a big part on mending Trixie’s broken heart. She had a purpose, she had something to do, she had a murderer to catch. They did, both of them; but Katya was constantly asking for breaks, going out for a smoke or needing more coffee.

Trixie wondered if she was trying to take a step back from the case as well. Looking at the clock, she realized Katya had left for the gym over an hour ago and hadn’t come back.

Running sounded like a good idea. Maybe Trixie should go on the treadmill for a bit and try to clear her head.

Just stepping out of the meeting room, that had been reserved for the case specifically, already had Trixie feeling much better. She was not alone with her thoughts, and Kennedy’s loud breathing wasn’t her only ambience anymore. The bullpen was alive, people were coming and going, printers could be heard in the background, and a phone rang somewhere.

Trixie waved at Violet when she passed by the copying machine. Violet only nodded her head slightly in return, always focused and concentrated in her work. Katya considered Violet one of her best friends, and promised Trixie she wasn’t always as cold and distant. Trixie had a hard time believing it; but ultimately trusted Katya’s judgement on people.

On her desk, Jasmine was laughing loudly at something Roy was telling her. Across the room Tempest had her nails digging on Kasha’s back, trying to scratch a spot that she couldn’t reach herself.

With a smile on her face, Trixie walked passed them, changed into her sports clothes, and made her way down to the basement. It was close to the end of the shift, there was only one other person at the gym.

Katya could feel every single muscle screaming at her in unison. She had been straining them to their maximum capacity. The rubber band restricted the stretching even more, and she loved it. She was always trying to break the boundaries of her own elasticity. She felt the plastic biting at the arch of her foot, but she stubbornly kept trying to make her shin touch her ear. Her other leg was tucked in front of her, providing the needed support to remain balanced.

She didn’t notice when someone else walked into the room but she could hear the soft thuds of feet against the belt of a treadmill.

Her eyes were closed, but she could still feel a stare burning her skin. It felt nice to be observed, she liked it a lot. If her sudden spectator wanted a show, she was going to give them just that.

Throwing the resistance band to the side, she extended both legs in front of her. Her back straightened, and she concentrated on the low of her back as she bent forward. Very easily her hands took hold of her feet, she used them as anchor points to have her forehead pressed against her knees.

She then opened her legs, making her head softly drop to the floor. Wider and wider she spread her legs until they formed a perfect side split.

Her heels were planted on the floor, the palms of her hands laid flat in front of her, and she lifted her tailbone from the ground. Her torso pressed hard against the floor as her butt remained up in the air. She dropped back down and waited a few seconds.

The feet on the treadmill sounded faster.

She started bouncing, in slow controlled movements, making her ass hit the floor every time. It wasn’t intentional but she started to turn herself on. She hump the ground faster and faster. Grunts left her mouth in effort but they soon turned into moaning.

The stepping sound stopped, only the belt going around and around could be heard.

Using her arms, she pushed her torso back up. Her legs closed in front of her, and she let out a deep sigh. Her eyes opened. Her lips curled up into a smirk when she spotted Trixie. She had her feet on each side of the machine, avoiding the band that still ran below her. Her mouth was wide open in shock, revealing a piece of gum stuck to her molars. It was a funny sight to say the least.

“Oh, hi,” Katya said as casually as she could. “Didn’t see you there.”

Trixie didn’t move from her spot. She needed a moment to recover but she finally spoke. “You are flexible,” she stated the obvious.

Katya laughed shortly. “I am. You should have known that by now, Mary.”

A button was pressed, the treadmill stopped running.

“You-you... I mean, we didn’t…” Trixie stuttered, making Katya laugh again.

“Maybe we should, then,” she offered with a side smile and the shrug of a shoulder.

The look of shock on Trixie’s face was priceless. Katya couldn’t hold it any longer and started laughing hysterically.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she managed between laughs. “It’s just so easy to–” She was unable to finish her sentence, as more laughter took over her.

“You are horrible.” Trixie took her hand towel and threw it at her, small giggles bubbled up inside her.

The towel landed not even halfway between the two, but it worked to lighten up the mood. Katya watched as Trixie climbed down from the machine to pick the towel up, then made her way to sit right in front of her.

“Did you and Kennedy manage to get something?” The question was clearly rhetorical, Katya knew the answer already. Nonetheless, she asked with a serious tone, hoping that Trixie would catch the humor behind it.

Luckily, she did. Trixie laughed softly, a small “Oh, totally,” leaving her lips. “I don’t understand how she can sleep so much,” she continued, her voice laced with bewilderment.

Katya’s legs kicked the air between them as she laughed uncontrollably. She did manage to catch the small smile on Trixie’s lips, though. She seemed proud to make her hysterical like that. Katya then made a mental note to laugh at her jokes more often, just so she could see that cocky smile again.

“No, but seriously,” Katya directed the conversation back to work. “What are we missing? I feel like there’s something, right in front of us, that we are not seeing.”

“They can’t be isolated cases,” Trixie offered. “There’s no way.”

“And we are not dealing with a copy-cat,” Katya declared. “I know it’s him. I can feel it in my pussy.”

Trixie lifted an overly drawn eyebrow. “You know, normal people don’t feel hunches in their… in there.”

“Oh, there’s nothing normal about this pussy, Momma.”

It looked like she wanted to say something, as if a comeback had died on Trixie’s lips, because she opened and closed her mouth. In the end she just laughed and told Katya they should go back to work. She wanted to share a few ideas with her, and it was getting late.

Katya allowed Trixie to help her up, ignoring the electric shock hitting her palm as soon as their hands met. The procedure felt oddly familiar.

They made their way back upstairs, still in their workout clothes, which made it even harder for Katya to keep her eyes away from Trixie. The leggings hugged her ass tightly, accentuated her fleshy hips and tiny waist. The tank top she was wearing barely did anything to cover her big tits. The term ‘hourglass figure’ was invented just so Katya could put into words the exact shape of Trixie’s body.

The room was empty when they reached it. It was a few minutes past six and everybody on their floor had headed home for the evening. Nobody from the night shift had arrived yet. Would it really be that inappropriate if they–

“You see this?”

Trixie’s voice took her out of her dirty train of thoughts. Her finger pointed at a picture. A picture that Katya had been analyzing for over a year. It was the crime scene of the first victim they had found. There was nothing on that picture that Katya hadn’t seen before.

“What-what? What am I seeing?”

Trixie moved her finger a little, a blue square was next to the foot of the table. “At first I didn’t think much of this. It looked like a random piece of paper, right?” She then moved to the table in the middle, shuffling through files. “Then, I found this!”

She pulled out a picture of the third murder. In the image a bunch of clutter could be seen on a coffee table. Underneath an empty bottle of vodka, a blue shadow was almost imperceptible, but Katya could see it. It was there.

“I don’t know if it means anything,” Trixie shrugged her shoulders. “I’m not even sure if they are the same thing. Maybe I’m just seeing stuff.”

“Nonono,” Katya was quick to correct her. “I think you are into something.” Her eyes were wild, seemingly unfocused, going rapidly through the pictures on the desk. “We need to find a better shot of this. Have you seen it on any other crime scene?”

Even though Katya was not looking at her, Trixie shook her head. “I haven’t really gone through everything, just spotted it on my way out earlier today.”

“Okay, okay.” Katya nodded dramatically. “Let’s do this. Why don’t you go down to the nerds and see if they can blow it up and make out what it says. I will look into the other pictures and see if I can find it again.”

Trixie obeyed without hesitation, running out of the room to find the tech experts.

Katya threw all the pictures to the floor in one swift motion, to get a better view. She couldn’t believe she had missed something like that. She had been studying the same cases for so long and, as happy as she was that they possibly had a new lead, her insecurities still made their presence noticed. It felt like failing, and there was nothing she hated more than that.

If she had overlooked that tiny detail, what else had she missed?

She was not going to dwell on things like that, though, not anymore. She had learned to live with fear and anxiety and used them in her favor, as propulsors to do better instead of crippling her. All the thoughts getting tangled in her mind only drove her to work harder, to focus better. She’d learned to redirect those emotions and put them to good use. That was the reason why, when Trixie came back with an enlarged version of the picture, Katya had found the blue paper in another of the crime scenes.

“What did you get?” She asked Trixie.

Trixie looked around until she found an empty spot on the cork board. “It looks like a flower… a rose, maybe?” Her head tilted, trying to see the pixeled picture from a different angle. “Did you find anything?”

“Yes! And there’s also this.” Katya’s face contorted, a string of unintelligible noises leaving her mouth. “I don’t know. It could be something.” She moved around the floor, where she had spread all the pictures they had from the different crime scenes, until she found the most recent one. “Look at her feet. The blood puddle is oddly shaped on this side. It kinda ends on a straight line. You see?”

She brought the photo closer to Trixie, she could understand exactly what Katya was saying.

“It’s as if… there was… something square stopped…” Trixie trialed off, unsure of how to put into words what she was seeing.

Katya smiled widely. “Aha-aha,” she encouraged her. “As if something square had been there and forced the blood to spill around it!” She concluded.

Trixie’s face filled with recognition. “Oh, my God! We have to get back there!”

She wasn’t even done pronouncing the phrase when Katya was already grabbing her keys.

“You took the words right out of my pussy.”

The laugh that came out of Trixie was unintentional. “Oh wow. You really are obsessed with your pussy.”

Katya stopped walking, her hands up in front of herself, as if Trixie had just said the most obvious thing in the world. “I mean, c’mon, aren’t you?”

Trixie didn’t reply. She pushed her playfully to keep on walking, and followed her outside. She couldn’t tell Katya that indeed there was a point where she had been obsessed, not only with that particular part of her body, but everything that she was. That in her mind she had conjured this image of her that had nothing to do with reality. That the reality of Kaya had surpassed even her wildest dreams. No, she couldn’t confess any of that. So she simply laughed it off and got in the passenger seat of Katya’s car, which was a mess.

“Uh, you are just like my sister. Her car is disgusting.”

“Hey!” Katya reproched. “I am an agent of the law, my duty is to put criminals behind bars. Who has time to clean a car when the whole human race is at risk?”

It was meant to be a joke, Trixie knew it but, as soon as Katya pulled out of the parking lot, without checking the road for other cars, she couldn’t help but notice the irony of her words. Katya’s driving was reckless. She never did as much as glance in the rearview mirror, and changed lanes without turning her blinkers on. Trixie held on to the door handle and yelled loudly whenever there was a pedestrian in sight. Katya kept telling her to relax, that everything was going to be alright. She trusted the other drivers to move out of the way. They were the police after all.

They reached the victim’s apartment building after a few minutes, minutes that were enough to make Trixie grateful to still be alive, and made their way up in the elevator. Katya was chatting her ear off, explaining something about the history of the building, but all Trixie could feel was her warmth tickling her naked arm. They should have changed before leaving the precinct.

Pushing the police tape aside, Katya pressed the key into the knob and let them in. The entire place smelled like bleach, making her nose scrunch up in disgust. Forensics had taken care of cleaning all the blood out, taken the necessary evidence, and left all other belongings intact. It was sad, really. Katya felt sorry for the girl. Her mind had already come up with a whole life story for her. She had come from a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. Her hopes of becoming a movie star stuffed into a single suitcase as she stepped down from the bus. Only to have her dreams crushed by the bills that kept coming and coming and she was unable to pay. That was when an answer came.

“And you gathered all of that…” Trixie’s voice took her out of her imaginary world. “Just by looking at her shit? Damn, you are good.”

Katya hadn’t even realize she was saying it out loud. She was simply trying to connect with the space, with the victim. She could feel embarrassed that her thinking process had been discovered, but Trixie didn’t judge her. She actually went along with it.

“She was pretty, she was young, she could get paid for it. It was easy, so she did it.”

With her bottom lip pressed between her teeth, trying not to smile like an idiot, Katya nodded effusively to Trixie’s words.

“It worked just fine,” Katya added. “Until he came along.”

Trixie’s face seemed to soften. She moved closer to Katya and placed a hand on her shoulder. “We are gonna catch him. We will.”

There was no way for either of the two to know that for sure. Katya had been so close before and he managed to slip away right in front of her eyes. She couldn’t agree with Trixie, she couldn’t feel the confidence she was exuding. So she simply nodded and tapped her hand slightly. The tingling on her skin was burning, causing her to shrug her shoulder and make Trixie’s hand fall awkwardly to her side.

“Okay!” Katya clapped her hands, moving on from the uncomfortable moment. “Let’s play this out. She walked in.” Her hand pointed towards the door. “Was she alone or with him?”

Her question came out more like a trivia. One that Trixie happily accepted, walking to the entrance and analyzing the space. In the wall next to her, there was a small dent. She touched the loose drywall with her finger and looked around for a source. She found it right away.

“He pushed her inside. The door banged against the wall. Here.” Opening the door completely, she could tell the scrape was a perfect match for the knob.

“You are so fucking smart, you know that?”

Trixie simply shrugged at her comment, but the blush on her cheeks didn't go unnoticed.

“So he attacked her by the door,” Katya continued. “Maybe fought her, but ended up dragging her and sitting her on the dinner table.” She looked around, the whole set had been taken to the lab. She bent her knees and tapped her thighs. “Come on. I’ll be the chair.”

The laugh coming from Trixie was loud and filled with surprise. “I am not going to sit on you.”

Katya stood up straight with a roll of her eyes. “Fine. You’ll be the chair then.”

“Why does anybody have to be a chair?” Trixie’s voice was light, filled with amusement. “Can’t we just use that one?” She pointed across the room, where a perfectly functioning chair sat by the window.

Katya’s mouth opened in surprise. “You want to disturb a crime scene? What are you, five?”

Before they knew it, they were both laughing. Katya couldn’t remember the last time she had so much fun with a case. She knew there was nothing funny about the young woman whose life they were invading, whose death was the reason they were there. Nonetheless, there was happiness filling her lungs and making it easier for her to breathe. She knew it was because of Trixie. Katya had a feeling that she had finally found someone that understood her sense of humor. It was refreshing, it was liberating.

“It’s here!”

The loud scream forced Katya to land back in the reality of the situation. She moved next to Trixie, who was kneeling down behind the couch. As much as she stretched her arm, she couldn’t reach the piece of paper they were there to find.

Katya easily slid underneath the furniture, grabbing the blue card with her glove covered fingers.

“How did it even get there?” Trixie asked as she helped Katya to her feet.

Blood had been cleaned, but the outline of the puddle was still visible. Katya put the new evidence down where they had imagined it. The stains on the card complemented the broken line on the floor. It was a perfect match.

“Maybe he kicked it with his feet on the way out?” Katya tried to reason, but everything was still very unclear.

They evaluated the card together. It had the outline of a rose on the front and nothing else. There was no name, no address, no phone number; nothing but the delicate lines forming the intricate design.

“Do you know what this is?”

Katya shook her head to answer Trixie’s question. “No, but I know who might.” She thought about the possibilities before turning back to Trixie. “I need to make a few phone calls first but… what are you doing tomorrow night?” she asked, wiggling her eyebrows

“Catching a bastard?” Trixie offered with a smile.

A smile that Katya could only return, the same smile that had her repeating Trixie’s words in a sing-song voice.

“We are catching a bastard.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 4 - White.

Katya liked to keep herself busy. A mind as hyperactive as hers needed a specific task to focus on, otherwise, she would be a burning ball of unrestrainable energy. So, she liked to concentrate her efforts into a series of small chores that, as a whole, would contribute into something bigger. It wasn’t always easy to keep her head in the game. More often than not she had to be railed back on track. Ginger was an expert on doing that, but Ginger wasn’t around anymore. Now, she needed to get herself in check, and it wasn’t easy.

That day, as any other, she went to her yoga class first thing in the morning. That was the beauty of Los Angeles, Angelinos were so concerned about their fitness that it wasn’t hard to find work out classes at, pretty much, any hour of the day.

With her energy channeled for the day, or at least for the next few hours, she drove to her favorite coffee shop. She liked Priscilla’s because it looked like a bookstore more than an actual café. The decorations were earthy and warm, and there were always a lot of dogs. The best part was that it wasn’t right in the middle of the city, with too many people coming and going to allow her to concentrate. The twenty minute drive over the hill was worth the calmness of Toluca Lake.

And she needed calmness today, of all days.

She sat down on a table outside, bringing a coffee cup and a cigarette to her lips, alternately. If she had to die of something, it better be of this insanely satisfying combination.

Files were not supposed to leave the station, everybody knew that, but Katya had taken a few pictures out. The first one was the blown out image of the card they had found at the first crime scene. She knew she had seen that before, just couldn’t remember where. It was right there, in a compartment of her imaginary, but she couldn’t find the right vault. And she pictured herself, running in the hallways of her head, guided by smoke and fueled by caffeine, pulling all the imagery she had saved throughout the years, yet never picking the correct one. It was right there, and she couldn’t get a hold of it.

It was like seeing someone, that Katya knew she had met before, but couldn’t remember their name. Then spending the entire day wondering where she knew them from, coming up with nothing.

The anxiety of the situation kept making her skin crawl. She closed her eyes and tried a few meditation techniques to ease her nerves. It didn’t work very well. That was when the second cigarette came.

She picked up her phone, the white stick still secured between her fingers, and started texting. It was risky, she shouldn’t be doing it, but she didn’t know what else to do.

Another picture Katya had with her was of one of the crime scenes. The girl had her eyes lost in the middle of nowhere, and her mouth was slightly opened. Her skin was pale, since all the blood had been drained from her body. It looked like an image taken out of a scary movie, which intrigued Katya even more. There was something about this particular criminal that she simply couldn’t wrap her mind around.

One of the reasons why she was so good at her job was because she was able to canalize the killer’s instincts. Her coworkers would joke about Katya having the mind of a killer, but not the guts to actually do it. They were probably right. She could usually feel it in her bones. She could feel the motive behind the actions, the rush of the preparation, the satisfaction of actually doing it; in a weird way she was familiar with all of those. Nonetheless, her mind was empty when dealing with The Puppeteer. It was an unnerving feeling that she had never experienced before, and she didn’t like it at all.

Her phone was silent until the butt of the third cigarette found the ashtray. The affirmation had come. It was time to get things moving.

The message she sent Trixie was very vague. Trixie read it many times, even showed it to Jasmine, to see if they could figure it out together. From what they gathered, Katya was picking Trixie up that night, she needed to be wearing civilian clothes because they were going to some sort of party. All of that also meant they wouldn’t see her at the precinct all day. Trixie wanted to be mad, she knew Katya was extremely talented. Trixie had never met anyone as smart as Katya before, never. Yet, Trixie felt she was the only one really working the case while Katya was out and about, taking a day off to herself.

Jasmine, in her very understanding nature, told her to give Katya a chance. She always knew what she was doing. Trixie was advised to trust whatever Katya had in mind, that it could be a little out there, but it would surely get the job done.

Violet chimed in, and with a dry tone she told Trixie not to judge Katya’s process. It hadn’t been a request.

So, that was what Trixie did. In the early evening, she waited for Katya at the back of the building, as she had asked, wearing a short dress, white denim jacket and white go-go boots. Her makeup was exaggeratedly done, making her look more beautiful than ever.

“Hello, Barbie doll,” Katya greeted her as she pulled up next to her.

Trixie rolled her eyes and got in the passenger seat. “This better be good.”

They drove for a few minutes. The sun was still shining, even when the clock was about to hit seven in the evening. The sun rays hit their faces as they moved down Laurel Canyon. Trixie was still sulking in her seat, after having to work alone all day. Katya was unbothered, singing to every single song that came up on the radio. Her voice was loud, and incredibly off key. She changed the words constantly. Trixie could never get behind such crude bathroom humor, but Katya seemed to love singing about taking dumps in inappropriate places.

It was hard to keep up with the made up lyrics, especially when Trixie needed to pay attention to the road for both of them. The path was narrow and the turns were too close together. Katya behind the wheel was already dangerous by itself, having her distracted by the radio in such delicate road, felt more than Trixie could take.

They were about to reach Hollywood Boulevard, the residential side, not the one with the big neon lights and tourists filling the streets, when Katya took a turn and stopped the car in an alley. The walls around them were covered in beautiful graffiti. Trixie got lost in the eyes of a gorgeous fairy before she realized they had parked.

“Did I ever tell you…” Katya stopped, flickering her lighter a couple of times before she could light up her cigarette. “Did I ever tell you why I became a cop?”

Trixie shook her head. They both knew she hadn’t.

Katya blew the smoke out the window before returning her attention to her. “I had an amazing childhood. My parents were the most supportive. They never censored anything, not the music we listened to, nor the TV shows or movies that we watched. Picture the most perfect environment for a kid to grow, and I still managed to screw things up.”

It was like a vision. The sun was setting behind them, the smoke leaving Katya’s mouth was enchanting, and the serious tone of her voice was freaking Trixie out. She didn’t say anything, though, she allowed her to continue.

“I love drugs,” Katya said with a groan. “I fucking love drugs, Trixie. Every drug under the sun, you name it, I’ve done it. They are the best thing that has ever happened to me. They also almost got me killed,” she ended her sentence very matter-of-factly, which was a complete contrast to Trixie’s shocked expression.

“Oh, wow,” was all Trixie could let out.

Katya shrugged her shoulders. “Almost, that’s the keyword here. That was a really long time ago. I’m all good now. All clean.” She took what looked like a coin from the cupholder, toyed with it for a bit and put it back.

Trixie had enough knowledge to recognize it was an anniversary chip from AA.

“I went to rehab,” Katya confirmed Trixie’s silent assumptions. “Got my shit together… well, as together as I could.” She laughed dryly at her own words. “And then decided to fix my wrong doing by helping others, so I became a detective. Call it a Step Nine taken too far.”

All that information was taking a moment for Trixie to absorb, but she nodded her head. Maybe the full depth of the situation wasn’t really something she could understand, but she wanted to let Katya know that she was there for her.

“Now, about tonight. I had to make some phone calls,” Katya continued. “Reconnect with people from my past. We are about to meet them now, and they may say things about me.”

Trixie felt her eyes widening with each word that left Katya’s mouth. “Are you going to use again? Because, Katya, no case is worth your–”

As cute as this protective version of Trixie was, Katya had to interrupt her. “No, don’t worry, I won’t. There may be people using, though, and we can’t arrest them. They can’t know we are cops. My contact is already waiting for me, it should be a clean in and out situation. I just...” There was a pause, Katya tried to find the right words to describe what she was thinking. “I don’t know, I guess I just didn’t want you to hear it from someone else. I don’t know.”

“I get it. You are fine.”

They shared a smile, an air of comprehension filled the space between them. The engine was brought back to life, and Trixie pressed a reassuring hand on Katya’s thigh as they drove away.

It was only a few blocks before Katya stopped the car again. Apparently, there was nobody on the street. They stayed there in silence for a moment. The car was idling and it was getting dark around them. Trixie knew better than to ask any questions, even when she was growing nervous by the minute.

Suddenly, a figure emerged from the shadows. Trixie didn’t know if the girl had been there the whole time, hiding on the left side of the building, but she was now making her way to them. The girl was short and her hair was long. She stomped her feet hard against the pavement as she walked around the car and leaned into Katya’s window.

Hola, Mami,” the girl addressed Katya with a side smile. “I ain’t see you around here for a while.”

Katya, playing the role, moved a hand to run up and down the girl’s arm. “Hi, mija.” Katya returned the smile. Her fingers getting covered in glitter, transferred from the girl’s skin. “Soon, baby,” she promised. “Right now I’m looking for la güera. Is she around?”

The girl’s face fell immediately. With a tiny role of her eyes, she pushed herself back, yelling a name that Trixie wasn’t able to catch. “You and I used to have so much fun. What happened, baby? Now you only go for flaquitas y güeritas, eh?” The girl pushed her chin towards Trixie.

She didn’t know any Spanish, but Trixie was pretty sure she had just been insulted.

Nada de eso, mamá. You know you will always be my favorite.”

Just then, the car door opened, and a girl got, not so gracefully, into the backseat.

“Beat it, Vanjie. These are my bitches now.”

The girl stepped aside, her mocha-colored skin shining under the streetlamp. And Katya drove away. Silence once again reigned during the ride. The only occasional noise came from the girl in the backseat, who loudly chewed gum with her mouth opened.

Katya then pulled into a motel. In some kind of drive-through arrangement, she requested a room. The window to the cashier was covered in tinted glass, preventing them from seeing their face. It actually made things a lot easier. They were given a room number and they found their gate right away. It had some sort of garage, the metallic door closed automatically behind them when the car went in.

They got out of the car and nobody said a word still. Trixie only followed them up the small staircase that led to their room. Going behind them also gave her the chance to look at the girl, to really look at her. Her makeup was applied perfectly, Trixie could recognize that right away. She was extremely beautiful, with long blonde hair and legs that seem interminable underneath her tiny skirt. She had a white tank top with chinese lettering on the front.

As soon as Katya heard the front door getting closed, she couldn’t take it anymore. She jumped in excitement and hugged her friend tight to her body. They hadn’t seen each other in so long, which was a good thing, because it only meant that none of them had gotten into trouble.

“I missed you so much,” Katya whispered into the blonde curls.

“I couldn’t believe you had called me. How are you? Are you okay? Can we trust her?”

Something suddenly clicked in Katya’s head. “Oh, God. Shit. Sorry. This is Trixie, my new partner. Trixie, this is Willam, he… well, she– wait, which one is it?”

“You are a man?!” Trixie looked surprised, to say the least.

Katya couldn’t help but laugh at her. She knew Trixie meant no disrespect, and Willam did too, who simply continued to chew on the same piece of gum.

“What? Didn’t you know? Some women have dicks these days,” Willam said so chilled, so casually, that it only elicited another round of laughter from Katya. “And I don’t mind. Either is fine.”

“Oh, bitch, you are a woman.” Right then, Trixie seemed to realize what she had done, she physically shook her head, trying to land back into the conversion. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be rude,” she said walking to Willam, extending her hand to greet her. “It’s just that… oh, my God. You are really pretty.”

Willam shook her hand, and played with her own hair with the other. “I know. I have a mirror at home.”

Katya let out a wheezing laugh from behind them. “Glad to know the undercover work hasn’t changed your nasty ass.” Katya chuckled before taking a somber tone. “How is that going, by the way?”

Willam got on the bed, bouncing a couple of times before crossing her legs. “It’s hard. You know, nobody wants to trust you when you are this beautiful and give better head.” She kept playing with her hair while Katya laughed at her words yet again. “Yeah, no, I’m getting places,” she finally spoke seriously. “This goes way deeper than we thought, Kats.”

“Oh, shit,” Katya said genuinely concerned.

She took a seat next to her friend. She could only imagine all the things that Willam had gone through these last few months. The undercover mission was only supposed to last a few weeks. Willam was meant to collect intel among a group of trans-girls being forced to do sex work, and then come back to do her regular job. Nobody had planned for the small case to turn into such a big deal. Katya wasn’t nervous about Willam, she could take care of herself, she just hoped she could do more to help her.

“I was following one lead, one, but it’s a full net,” Willam offered. “There are so many more branches, though. I’m gonna need more time.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sure. That’s not what we are here for,” Katya assured her. “You are still on the case. I just need your help to identify something. The Puppeteer is back.”

Willam’s jaw fell open. “What?”

Katya turned to Trixie, who had been extremely quiet the whole time. In a way, Katya was grateful for the private moment she had just gotten with her friend, but they needed to get to work. She didn’t want to risk Willam’s status by keeping her for too long.

Trixie got the hint. She took the card out of her purse, still wrapped in the evidence bag. “We found this in four of the seven murders. We don’t know what it is. It has no name or address or phone number, just these stupid white lines forming a rose.”

Willam took the plastic bag in her hand, moved it around to get a better view of the piece of paper, recognition filled her features right away. “Oh, this is Luzon’s brothel.”

“You know what this is?” Katya asked, her voice filled with hope.

“Yeah, you see these lines here.” She pointed to the middle of the flower. “That’s the letter M, for Manila, Manila Luzon. Everybody knows who she is, and if you don’t then you probably can’t afford her. That’s why there’s no info on the card. She’s an eccentric bitch.”

Trixie looked at her with confusion. “What do you mean eccentric?”

“She has a dungeon, a classroom for role play, and things like that. Her girls are super talented, she hires only the best ones.”

“Do you know where we can find her?”

They got all the information about the place from Willam and, a few minutes later, they were dropping her off at her corner. Katya made sure to yell obscenities as Willam got out of the car, promising to come back and do more indecencies next week while they drove away.

It didn’t take them long to reach the brothel.

Trixie double checked the address once Katya was finally able to parallel park. She kept mumbling something about women’s brains, saying they didn’t develop the parts that calculated distance and space as much as men.

“If you think about it,” she continued, even when Trixie wasn’t paying attention. “It’s not at all misogynistic when people say women can’t drive, it’s a scientific fact. We can’t. We can do a lot of other things better than men, but driving, oh, Momma…” The tone of her voice changed when she looked up at Trixie. “And you are not paying attention.”

“Are you sure this is the right place?” Trixie asked, not even pretending she was listening to Katya.

They stood in front of an old building, but yet again, every building downtown was old. All the lights seemed to be off, and no sound came from the inside. Both looked up, spotting the large windows that didn’t indicate any movement happening on the other side of the glass. It had all the telltale signs of an abandoned building, and there they were, pulling the stained glass door to walk in.

A light bulb blinked above their heads, providing soft, intermittent lighting to the entry hallway. At the end of the corridor, an elevator waited for them.

Katya was the first one to walk inside the small cubicle. “If Willam sent us here to get killed, I swear to God…”

“Look!” Trixie pointed at the buttons of the elevator, successfully stopping Katya on her planning of bloody revenge. “It’s the same rose.”

The intricate design they had found on the cards replaced the number of the last button of the row. Trixie pressed it and they allowed the metallic box to take them to the top floor.

It would’ve been a good idea to come up with a strategy on their way up. Yet, they didn’t. Even if they had, though, they couldn’t possibly be prepared for what encountered them once the door slid open. Everything looked immaculate, upscale, expensive. A complete opposite to the first floor that had received them. The flashy furniture somehow made sense, as if it was meant to be put together. Even the blonde behind the tall desk belonged there just fine.

“Hello, welcome to Madam Luzon’s House of Pleasure. How can we take care of you tonight?”

Katya read the tag on the receptionist’s chest. Detox. Katya hardly doubted that was her real name, but it fitted her perfectly. Her lips were big, and there wasn’t a single wrinkle on her face. The tight dress showed off her perfectly sculpted body, if not by the gods themselves, by a group of doctors throughout many years. The face and body could be fake, but there was something very real about her smile. The contrast was verging on funny. The name Detox definitely suited her.

“Hello, sweetheart.” Katya flashed her a smile as she folded her arms on top of the desk. “We are here to gather some information.” She put as much effort as she could to make her voice somewhat alluring.

Detox giggled. Maybe it worked, maybe it was her job to respond like that to clients; but Katya felt proud of herself.

“Of course! Are you two pretty ladies looking to be a part of our team, or simply join the club?”

“What’s the difference?” Trixie asked.

Katya made yet another mental note, she had to talk Trixie into being more approachable. Half of the job was making people feel comfortable when talking to them. That entailed a lot of flexing the tone of their voices, and the ability to sound open and friendly, attributes that Trixie seemed to live without.

In an attempt to save the moment, Katya laughed exaggeratedly. “This beautiful lady is assuming we are hot enough to work here,” she spoke directly to Trixie before returning her attention to the receptionist. “Actually, we were hoping you could help us with something.” She fumbled with her phone for a moment before pulling up the picture that she needed, it was of the latest victim before being attacked. “Have you seen her? Has this girl worked here?”

Detox shook her head right away. “Nope. Why? Is she missing or are you trying to arrest her?”

She was very relaxed. Detox had by then understood that they were cops, that they were there to do an actual investigation, and she seemed unfazed. Katya was having a hard time reading her. Any person working at a place that literally had the words ‘House of Pleasure’ in the name, would be shaking in their boots in the presence of the police. She must have gotten good training on how to dissuade any law enforcer from what they actually did, or the paperwork was made up in such a way that they wouldn’t be able to prove what really went down there. Katya didn’t care, not really, not right now. She wasn’t there to shut down a sex house, she had a murderer to catch.

“Neither, actually.” It looked like Trixie had gotten the hint, her voice sounded just a little bit softer. “Is she a member of the club?” A head shake answered her question. “Is there anybody else we can ask about her?”

Detox’s perfect customer service smile shone brightly. “Sure. Please, excuse me for a minute.”

Trixie and Katya looked at each other as the girl went through a door on the side. Katya wanted to tell Trixie to relax, to keep her chill, and act normal. She wanted to let Trixie know that they were there to support each other; that they were going to get in there, get as much information as they could and go from there. She didn’t have to. After a few seconds of holding her stare, Trixie nodded. She understood.

“Madam Luzon will see you now,” Detox spoke a few feet from them, holding the door open so they could walk in.

Frantic music received them as soon as they entered the big office. In the corner, who they could only guess was Madam Luzon, rapidly moved a brush against a large canvas. She wore what seemed to be plastic cover in the form of a puffy dress. A white streak of hair bounced at the top of her head when she looked down to her paint palette. The strokes were long and thin as she moved to the rhythm of the quick tempo. She changed colors a couple of times, but didn’t stop until the music came to a dramatic end. That was when she finally turned around to face them, a wide smile on her face.

“Hello! Welcome. How can I take care of you tonight?”

She put the brush down and took a towel. She wiped her hands but all the stains remained on her skin, leaving her with big freckles of different colors.

“Hi. Thank you. We were hoping you could help us.” Katya took a step forward, her extended hand holding the phone in front of her. “Have you seen this girl before?”

Madam Luzon squinted her eyes, clearly pretending to take a better look of the image. “I don’t think I have, no. Is she in any trouble?”

“Not really.” Trixie shrugged nonchalantly. “Dead sure could be considered kinda troublesome, I guess. Very inconvenient, for sure.”

“Oh, geez.” Madam Luzon pressed a hand to her chest. “Poor girl, and so young. She had her whole life ahead of her.”

Katya wasn’t buying the performance, not for one second, but she decided to go along with it. She wanted to see how far this could go.

“We found your card at her place. Any idea how it got there?”

A hand was waved to dismiss Katya’s question. “If the kid was talented, I may have offered her a spot here at some point. I only hire the very best. She probably didn’t make the cut because, sadly, I don’t think I remember her.” The phone rang besides her, giving her enough excuse to end the meeting. “Why don’t you give Detox your phone number, I’ll let you know if we remember anything else. Or, I don’t know, maybe we could talk business.”

The conversation ended with a wink as she placed the phone to her ear.

Walking out of the office felt like a defeat. They had gone in there with such hopes and came out with nothing. Katya still didn’t trust the crazy painter, whose eyes got crossed when looking at the phone. There was something off about her, but Katya couldn’t identify what it was. The last thing she needed was something else to nag at the back of the head. Her anxiety was already through the roof as it was.

Just like they were told, Katya provided her phone number to Detox, who wrote everything down in the computer.

“She offered you a job, didn’t she?” The receptionist asked, leaning forward on the tall desk in conspiracy. “You know, you and I could easily do some sister act. I wouldn’t mind getting freaky with you.”

Katya laughed. “Oh, believe me, I wouldn’t either. Maybe some other time?”

The smile thrown her way seemed to be enough for Detox, who then lifted her eyebrows in Trixie’s direction. “What about you? We have a beautiful doll house that would be perfect for you.”

Lacking Katya’s everflowing seductive skills, Trixie simply shook her head. “Right now, I’m just a little busy with the whole catching killers and all, maybe next time.”

“Ah, maybe next time,” Detox repeated. “You will come around for sure. Nobody says no to Manila Luzon.”

They thanked the girl for her time and left the building, Katya offered to dropped Trixie at her place, claiming she was pretty sure she remembered the way. Almost. If anything, Trixie could guide her around, but she didn’t. As soon as they got in the car, Trixie focused her sole attention on her phone, leaving Katya to figure out the directions by herself.

Loud music came from the device. Katya tried to see what was playing on the phone but, every time she looked at Trixie, she encountered a long curtain of hair blocking her view. Trixie would make disapproving noises before closing a video and opening a new one. The scene was repeated a couple of times before Katya finally decided to ask.

“You really do hate when people have fun, huh?” She directed her attention to the passenger seat for a second, enough to see Trixie’s Instagram getting closed.

“It’s just my roommate, Kim,” she answered, putting the phone back in her purse. “She has people over and I don’t feel like dealing with them.”

“Why? Don’t you like them?” Katya asked without looking at her, her eyes set on the road in front of her.

Trixie scuffed softly. “I do, sorta. I mean, who doesn’t like to hang with beautiful fashion models that make you feel insecure as shit?”

Katya fully looked at her. “Oh, you are not being serious. Trixie, you are, like, one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen in my life.”

With the corner of her eye she saw how Trixie shrugged, disregarding the topic. It wasn’t a typical sight. She hadn’t known Trixie for long, but she did know how much she liked her body. She was proud of her curves and knew exactly what to wear to highlight them. Her makeup abilities were something beyond Katya’s comprehension. She simply couldn’t understand how someone could literally transform the topography of her face just with brushes and beauty products. The most important part was, Trixie knew she was beautiful. More than once Katya had heard her replying with an ‘I know’ when someone complimented how good she looked.

“You know?” Katya suddenly found herself asking. “It’s still kinda early, and my apartment is not far from here. It’s a bit of a mess, but at least it’s not filled with your friend’s friends. Wanna crash for a bit? At least until you know the coast is clear.”

Surprisingly, Trixie agreed and allowed Katya to drive them to her place.

Her apartment was small, and disorganized. Katya made sure to let Trixie know that as they walked up the stairs. She had been living there for a long time and was constantly moving the furniture from its place. Just to see how things would look, but usually gave up halfway through. That was the reason why, when they walked in, Trixe spotted a recliner in the kitchen, and the dining table sat right between the TV and the couch.

One thing that Trixie did find fascinating, was the type of art that adorned the walls. It was weird, bizarre even, but all the uncommon pieces somehow managed to perfectly represent Katya. There was even a series of pictures hanging on a thread from wall to wall, they were all famous paintings that had Katya’s face photoshopped into them. They were odd, and strange, and completely Katya.

“Sorry for the mess,” Katya apologized as she ran around the living room, picking up clothes that were spread around. “I don’t usually have visitors.” She carelessly threw everything in what seemed to be a closet and came back, her hands clapping nervously. “Do you want some coffee?”

Trixie had to chuckle. “If I drink coffee now I won’t be able to sleep at all.”

Katya brought her hand to rub at the back of her neck. “Right. Right. Well, I have tea as well. I think.”

“Really, I’m fine, thank you.”

They walked to the living room and sat on each end of the couch. There was silence for a moment, it wasn’t uncomfortable, it wasn’t tense, but Trixie felt like suffocating. There was something pressing on her chest, preventing her lungs from expanding properly, and she knew the only way to breathe again would be to talk. Since earlier that night, when Katya had opened up about her life, Trixie felt the need to do the same, but it was very unlike her. She could joke about her rough life all day long, but really talking about it wasn’t easy for her.

With a deep sigh, she prepared herself to let it out. She could only hope Katya would understand and appreciate what a huge step this was.

“Wanna–” A small cough cut her off, but she was determined to continue. “Wanna know why I entered the force?”

Katya nodded enthusiastically. “Always.”

“I’m from the deep country. I’m talking cows, and outhouses, and an hour drive just to reach the nearest McDonald's. I never met my dad, he bailed before I was even born. For a while, it was okay, but Mamma couldn’t really put bread on the table. So she married this guy who - he was okay, I guess, at first. He was a good provider. Then my sister was born and things turned ugly. Suddenly, I wasn’t his kid anymore, so he refused to treat me as such. He was drunk all the time, but, like, all the fucking time.”

Her eyes closed as she pronounced those last words, memories of how things used to be filled her head.

“He started hitting me, because I would misbehave; then my mom, ‘cause she couldn’t keep me in check. I couldn’t stand it. And there was nothing I could do. Standing up to him only meant making things worse. I got out as soon as I could, but I couldn’t help my mom. She had to wait until the bastard died of alcohol poisoning to be free. I don’t wish that on anybody. If I couldn’t help her, at least I can help others.”

All the words poured out of her at once, fearing that if she even took a second too long to pull air in, she would lose the courage to keep going. Katya didn’t say a thing, her mouth opened and her eyes had stopped blinking.

“Trixie, I–” she started.

“Don’t,” Trixie interrupted her. “You don’t have to say anything.”

“No, no, I want to.”

In a fast move, Katya was right in front of her. A soft hand landed on Trixie’s cheek and that was when she realized she was crying. Katya’s touch was delicate, Trixie couldn’t help but close her eyes and leaned into the warmth of Katya’s palm.

“You are so brave,” Katya said, forcing Trixie to open her eyes. “Not a lot of people have it in them to get out of shitty situations. Hell, even I love to go even deeper into my shit. But you… you are such an amazing woman. You are strong and smart and-and funny and I am so fucking proud of you. Knowing that you went through all of that only makes you even more of a badass, if you ask me.”

Trixie laughed tearily. “I wasn’t asking, really.”

A light chuckle left Katya’s lips but she didn’t say anything back. She simply kept rubbing soft circles on Trixie’s cheek with her thumb. The makeup was probably going to be ruined, if not by the touch, from all the crying, but Trixie didn’t really care at this point.

“That’s why this case became such a big deal, I guess.” Trixie hadn’t even considered it until the thought left her lips. “That could’ve been me, you know? One wrong decision and I could’ve ended up like those girls.” An abrupt sob cut through her throat and, before she knew it, she was crying uncontrollably in Katya’s arms.

It could have been a few minutes, it could have been hours, days even. Trixie felt like she had cried every emotion she held inside her. It was a freeing feeling. Soon, she was able to pull air back in without choking.

When she noticed Trixie was breathing normally, Katya pulled away a little to look into her eyes. “You feeling better?” A small nod answered her question. “You are not those girls, okay? And he’s not going to be on the loose for long. We are going to catch this guy.”

Trixie looked at her with big, pleading eyes. Her face had softened to a point that Katya couldn’t stop herself.

“Can I… just… I need to…”

She didn’t have to ask for permission, not really, because as she started to lean forward, Trixie closed her eyes. Katya kissed her right eye, tasting salt and glitter.

“We are gonna catch him,” she promised before moving to the left eye. “I’m gonna do it…” There was a kiss on the nose. “For you.” And then their lips found each other.

The kiss was slow and cautious. Lips smoothly wrapped around each other. They right away initiated a rhythm that allowed their movements and breathing to balance out perfectly. As their mouths explored one another, hands started to roam across their bodies. Trixie placed her hand on Katya’s nape, pulling her closer. Katya had a hand lost between the curls of Trixie’s hair, and the other one rested on Trixie’s thigh.

It was intimate, it was soft, and it was getting hotter by the minute.

It took one quick move for Katya to be sitting on Trixie’s lap. Each of her legs straddled Trixie’s as the kissing became deeper and deeper. Trixie’s hands found their way to Katya’s ass, and she pushed her slightly, starting a rocking motion. Katya didn’t complain, the complete opposite, she liked how Trixie was taking the lead. The feeling of Trixie’s hands kneading her flesh, mixed with the slow movement of her hips, had her already turned on beyond herself.

Katya quickened the pace. She lifted her hips and her hands went down to pull up her own skirt. She needed as much contact as possible. Their lips parted, giving room for moans and whimpers to fly freely. Among the noises of building pleasure filling the apartment, a cell phone brought everything to a halt.

Trying to catch her breath, Katya pressed her forehead against Trixie’s. Their stares met. Katya gave her a moment, trying to figure out if the interruption was enough to break the charm, and make Trixie regret what they were doing.

“Yours or mine?” Katya asked with a side smile.

“Mine is right here,” Trixie said, tapping her pocket before stealing a quick kiss.

With a grunt, Katya stood up and followed the sound to the front door, where she had dropped her purse when they walked in. The screen was still lit when she pulled it out, but the device wasn’t ringing anymore. Ginger’s nickname appeared under the label of missed calls. She stared at it for a moment, pondering what to do. If it had been an emergency, the phone would have rang again by now, or at least that was the excuse Katya gave herself to not return the call. Ginger probably just wanted to catch up. Katya missed her friend, but she had a turned on goddess on her couch. The dilemma answered itself.

Katya sent a quick message indicating she couldn’t talk at the moment, with the promise to ring Ginger in the morning. She stuffed the phone back into her purse and practically ran back to the living room. The short period was enough for her to find it empty. She looked around frantically, but Trixie was nowhere to be found. She couldn’t have left, she was right there just a moment ago, and Katya had been standing by the front door.

A muffled sound came from the bedroom, Katya made her way there and found Trixie. She had thrown to the floor all the crap that Katya had left on the bed, and was already pulling her dress above her head.

No more time was lost. They helped each other out of their clothes and stumbled on the bed. They continued to kiss as fingers rolled nipples and nails scratched backs. It was primitive, it was urgent, it was extremely hot. Katya could feel every inch of her skin burning in desire, and the flames would quench only by the touch of Trixie’s hands.

Katya’s back landed on the mattress, Trixie lied on top of her, settled between her opened legs. She took a nipple between her teeth and Katya’s back arched to the touch. It was worlds apart from the first time they had done it. Trixie was running her tongue on Katya’s breasts, giving both equal amount of attention.

“Thank you,” Trixie spoke against her skin. “Thank you for understanding.” Her head then moved up, facing Katya completely. “Thank you for being such an amazing partner.”

“It’s my absolute pleasure, Barbie doll.”

She held Trixie’s face in her hands, making sure she didn’t lose eye contact as their hips started to move again. They started pressing against each other, rubbing their more intimate areas with fervor. Katya knew it was physically impossible, but the position made her feel as if Trixie were actually thrusting hard inside of her. With every push of Trixie’s hips against hers, Katya’s walls clenched around nothing.

They moved faster and faster, the rhythm becoming erratic as each of them got closer to their own orgasm.

It took one of Trixie’s high pitched moans to send Katya over the edge. She saw white flashes in front of her eyes as waves of earth-shattering pleasure hit her relentlessly. In the high of her ecstasy was that everything suddenly became clear.

“Oh, my God. I know who did it!”

Chapter Text

Chapter 5 - Yellow.

“Are you completely sure?” Sergeant Haylock’s doubtful voice traveled through the speaker of the phone, perched on top of a pile of boxes.

“One million percent,” Katya assured him, her words sounding shaky to her own ears. It was infuriating how she couldn’t even trust her own voice. She hoped it didn’t give away how nervous she was, because she was nervous, anxious, excited, but, above everything, she was sure. That was the message she needed to deliver.

It seemed to work, because the sergeant didn’t ask any further. “Okay. I’ll send the team. Captain Charles is getting the warrant. I really hope you are right, Zamo, or you will be in some deep shit. I’ll meet you at the precinct as soon as we are done.”

Trixie watched as Katya paced the small space of the cold cases room, her fingers tangling in the hair at the top of her head, pulling at the blonde curls absentmindedly. The slight tugging of her scalp seemed to provide some sort of stress relief, one that sucked her into an evident trance. She wouldn’t even look up. Her mind was deep in thought.

“We are already here!” Trixie replied for her, loud enough so the sergeant could hear her.

Roy sighed. “Alright, alright. We are on the move. Get everything ready for interrogation; we will get there as soon as the judge approves the arrest. You are waking up half of LA because of this, my husband is already pissed, so this better be good.”

The line went silent after that, indicating that the call had ended. Trixie watched the light dim and then completely disappear as the phone locked itself. There was nothing left to do but wait.

Katya was still walking rapidly from side to side, her fingers were still pulling her hair, her stare was still glued to the floor. Her anxious state manifested itself in the complete opposite way from Trixie’s. She sat on the folding bed, her legs crossed in a miserable attempt of a lotus position. She was picking at the skin of her fingers, painfully pulling at thick hangnails. A part of Trixie knew she was shutting down, but the energy that Katya had bouncing all around them kept her alert, preventing her from spiraling herself, if only for the sake of keeping an eye on her partner.

Suddenly, a thought hit her. “Did Roy say husband?” Trixie asked in surprise.

Katya didn’t stop pacing, but she did look at Trixie. “What? Oh. Yeah. You didn’t know he was married?”

“I didn’t know he was gay.” Trixie’s voice came out steady, with no harm or judgement in it, simply stating the fact.

As Katya looked at her with her mouth slightly opened, asking her if she was kidding, Trixie analyzed the little information she had on her sergeant. Her mind took her back to pay extra attention to the conversations they had shared. Laughter was a constant and insulting words being thrown at each other, with no harm whatsoever, was another. The topic of significant others had never been brought up, and she hadn’t asked. She had spent so much time engrossed in the case that she never really stopped to get to know her coworkers. Except for her own partner, probably, who was such a character by herself that Trixie had no room in her mind to solve both the case and the mystery of Katya.

“This is the most open-minded precinct in herstory; and we are super proud of it.” Katya’s words made Trixie return her attention to her. “You know I’m your everyday run-of-the-mill bisexual hooker,” she said as her hands pointed at herself in demostration. “Violet is a big fat lesbian. I mean, not fat, you could never have Violet’s name and the word fat in the same sentence. You get what I mean. Jasmine, she just likes people; she sees hearts not genitals. Kasha was married to a guy for years, now she’s married to a pretty nice woman who adores her.” She made a pause, her mind not having the energy to go through all the people that worked with them. “Well, you know about Roy now and Captain Charles is also married.”

“I did know that,” Trixie intervened. “I know he’s gone through a lot.”

RuPaul Charles was a renowned name in the field, his life story was well known and his reputation was highly respected. He was one of the first gay cops to successed back in the nineties. He wasn’t just opened about his sexuality, he embraced it and took the chance to inspire other law enforcers to do the same. He worked hard and climbed the ladder, despite all the struggles that a gay man of color was unnecessarily put through.

Katya agreed with Trixie. “He has! And he wants that to change, make a difference so other people can have an easier path. There’s, you know, that youth program he has for baby gays. I know he had, like, umm, kind of AA meetings for gay people within the police department. He’s doing great so far. He’s very smart and knows how to use the rainbow flag to help others. You know why we have some of the highest numbers in the whole state?”

Trixie didn’t know the answer, so she didn’t even try to guess. She shook her head as she stood up, her legs tingled as blood fought to keep on running in the awkward position. Her face contorted as millions of ants figuratively filled her veins at once.

“Lesbians!” Katya said proudly. The sudden clap of her hands made Trixie jump. “Lesbians get shit done.” Her fingers snapped to the rhythm of her words to accentuate them. “That’s why he’s made it his mission to slowly transfer all the queer women in the district into his team.”

Something didn’t quite click, and Trixie was sure it showed in her facial expression. “He wanted to interview me before giving me the job, he said I would fit right in.” She let out almost without realizing, the words leaving her mouth as the thought sunk in for the first time. “Could he have gotten some gay vibes from me?”

“I mean,” Katya said, her hands extended in front of herself and her lips formed a thin line. There was something secretive in her voice. Her tone almost begged Trixie not to force her to actually say the words. “Is he wrong?” The question didn’t give any room for Trixie to reply, it was rhetorical, it verged on sarcastic.

There was a huge chance those accusations were only in Trixie’s mind. She was the one twisting Katya’s words. She was the one that wanted to figure out if the captain was wrong. Maybe, just maybe, he wasn’t wrong, and the real reason why he hired her was because he knew. He had known her truth even before Trixie knew it herself, before she had even allowed her thoughts to go down that road.

Trixie’s eyes couldn’t focus on anything for more than a second. She shook her head, a fog of realization clouding her every thought. “But, I’m not gay, though.”

She didn’t know if the room was spinning around her, if she was the one spiraling down to the ground, or if Trixie’s brain was making her dizzy beyond belief. Her knees gave out a bit and she planted her palms on the dusty table in front of her.

“Oh, Momma.” Katya spoke from behind her. Her voice was almost condescending, but she wasn’t mocking her. She let the words out in a soft exhale, as if she were talking to a small child. “You don’t have to label yourself.” Her hands landed on Trixie’s shoulders, applying a little pressure as they ran down her arms. “I considered myself heteroflexible for the longest time.”

It was working. Trixie could feel herself landing back into the room, her mind anchoring to the gentle touch of Katya’s warm hands. Hands that were by then circling her waist.

“And, if you need to do some more exploring,” Katya spoke to her ear, hot breath hitting her neck. “You know where to find me.” Katya’s flat hands pushed just below her belly button, right on Trixie’s pelvic area, making her wince. She wondered if Katya’s bones hurt as much as hers, for all the friction from their activities of earlier that night. Trixie was incredibly sore, and she had a lot more flesh in that area than Katya. Involuntarily, her hips pushed back, her ass finding Katya’s crotch, who didn’t even flinch.

A small chuckle left Katya’s mouth, and her smiling lips pressed a kiss to Trixie’s cheek. “You’ll be fine. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”

And with that, all contact was gone. Katya turned around and left the room, leaving Trixie alone, slightly turned on and very confused.

Trixie didn’t follow her. The thoughts running in and out of her head wouldn’t allow her brain to connect with the rest of her body. Her feet were heavy, preventing her from walking. She felt hot in the pit of her stomach and between her legs, both providing extremely different sensations, overloading her system, which threatened to crash at any second.

She sat back down on the bed, her head falling to her hands heavily.

Had she been lying to herself?

Did people see things in her that she never spotted herself?

Trixie played with the hem of her dress, the same dress that she had picked to impress Katya. She could admit as much by then, sitting there by herself in Katya’s private space. When she picked her clothes for the night, Trixie hadn’t really thought about it, but it had always been at the back of her mind. As she went through her many dresses, Katya’s possible opinions on the outfit had been the decisive factor.

She knew she liked Katya, she liked her a lot; the actual definition of that feeling was yet to be determined. Still, that didn’t mean she liked all women, just this one. Katya, if anything, was the exception to every rule. She was an enigma, yet an open book to whoever was willing to read. Trixie often felt like she was finally able to capture a page of that book but, just when she got close enough, the information was written in a mysterious language that she couldn’t fully understand. Katya’s complex personality was divided in different volumes. It could be discouraging, Trixie could very easily close the book, place it on the highest shelf, and never look at it again. That wasn’t the case. She was determined to crack the code, to understand the alien language and let the reality of Katya to sink in completely.

Maybe what she had identified as attraction was actually a challenge. It was the need to get closer to that intricate human and understand how someone who was so excited about living life to the fullest could, at the same time, be so filled with anxiety while doing it.

The fact that they had found an amazing sexual synchrony was really nothing more than a coincidence. Yet again, Trixie had nothing to compare it to. She had never even tried to explore her sexuality in that way. She had always assumed she was straight, because that’s what she was taught to be. As far as she knew she liked men, and men liked her. It had been like that during her entire life. The thought of maybe being attracted to another girl never did as much as cross her mind. If she had known that having sex with a woman was such a journey, she may had tried it before. Although, she wondered if that sexy roller coaster of sensations was caused by Katya and Katya alone.

So that was it. Trixie had no issues with her sexuality. She had simply become infatuated with her co-worker because of her bedroom skills. All she needed to do was put some distance between them and the feeling would eventually go away. Trixie could do that easily, not immediately, though; they still needed to work together to close the case, but right after that, things were going to chance. It was settled, she could go back to work without having to worry about that just yet.

Even when Trixie hadn’t asked where the interrogation was going to take place, she knew. She walked straight to the last room on the left, the one with the strongest air conditioner. She entered the side cabin, expecting to find Katya there, waiting for the suspect, but it was empty.

On the other side of the tinted glass, Katya sat on the table, her hands moving around her exaggeratedly.

Smiling at the scene playing in front of her, Trixie pressed a button on the intercom, which allowed her to hear what happened in the interrogation area.

“...gonna kick you right in the pussy,” Katya said in faked anger. “And I’m gonna... I will find your dad. He is going to take a toaster bath and-and perish.” She stood up, her closed hands hitting the table as she leaned closer to the nonexistent criminal. “Ooh, and your mom, she’s gonna go somewhere…” Suddenly, her shoulders dropped, ending her whole intimidating act. “She’s gonna be fine. She’s gonna be on vacation. The Galapagos, maybe.”

Only then did Trixie realize her cheeks hurt from smiling so hard. There was something so interminably endearing about Katya, about the way she carried herself, about her vision of logic.

The little skit had been idiotic, childish even, but so loaded with passion and determination. It was a necessary step in the peculiar thought process that didn’t make sense outside of Katya’s own head. Instead of being annoyed or feeling excluded, as Trixie had felt the couple of weeks she had been working with Katya, she was now happy to at least be able to see the magic happen.

Trixie wanted to jump through the window and give Katya a tight hug. Trixie had never been a hugger, though. Physical contact had been a sensitive subject for her since years ago, yet there she was, wishing she could take Katya in her arms and kiss those silly lips that projected strings of nonsense more often than not.

Her eyes closed as Trixie remembered her resolution from just a few minutes ago. Those thoughts had to stop. At least she was able to identify them now. That was a win. Also, she wasn’t supposed to put her plan into motion until after the case was closed. She still had some time.

The phone vibrated against the metallic table, the buzzing sounded a lot louder inside the quiet room, making Katya jump.

“Jesus Christ!”

She brought a hand to her chest, a fruitless attempt to keep her heart from beating hard against her ribcage. Her other hand picked up the phone, reading the message on the lockscreen and freezing in place. Katya had heard the saying many times, people expressing how their blood went all the way down to their ankles, but she had never experienced the shock herself. It was a cold sensation that ran from the top of her head all the way down to the sole of her feet; and she felt colder and colder with each time she read the same message again.

They had gotten the warrant, the arrest had been done, and they were on their way back to the precinct.

A tap on the glass made Katya look up. She knew Trixie was on the other side, she just knew. She had developed a way to sense when Trixie was near her. That sensation was warm enough to incite her blood to run normally again. It allowed her limbs to function properly and unfreeze her from her spot. Katya made her way to the adjacent room with that thought in her mind. She truly had been lucky to be paired up to work with Trixie. Granted, at thirty-two years old, Katya hadn’t really had all that many partners in her life. She entered the force in her mid-twenties, and other than a short period with Kasha, Katya had always worked with Ginger. Both of her co-workers were incredibly helpful when channeling Katya’s energy and had understood the way her mind worked. They had taken their time to do so. Trixie just got her, right away.

As soon as Katya pushed the door open, Trixie was already by her side.

“How are you? Are you okay?” The sincerity in her eyes made the warm feeling spread across Katya’s chest.

Katya’s foot tapped against the floor, as her arms wrapped around her own torso. “Yeah. I’m just anxious. I can’t screw this up, Trixie. I can’t.”

She wanted to explain all the reasons why this was such a big deal for her. In her mind, she was listing the infinite consequences of taking a wrong turn. Her brain was telling her to yell, from the bottom of her lungs, the importance of making things right. There was no need to. It had been quite sometime since words started to be obsolete, and some sort of telepathic communication was installed between the two of them.

“And you won’t,” Trixie assured her.

Trixie’s hands moved to rest on Katya’s shoulders, the weight forced her arms to untangle and her hands fell to her sides. Trixie’s hands travelled down to hold Katya’s, she gave them a little squeeze with a small smile dancing on her lips.

“Thank you,” Katya said genuinely. She didn't know why or what she was thanking Trixie for, but she didn’t have to, because the light nod she got in return was all the answer that she needed.

“Of course,” Trixie replied with the shrug of a shoulder. “You’ve got this. Now you only need to get the confession out of this freak. Do you want to keep on practicing? You can tell me where you are planning to send all my family members to.”

Katya burst out laughing, most people would pretend they didn’t overheard a private moment like this one. Not Trixie, though. Quickly, Katya realized it wasn’t a bad thing to share one more aspect of her preparation with Trixie. She liked to believe she was some sort of movie character, intimidating the suspect just by the tone of her voice and, if that wasn’t enough, she had to master some threatening talk. At the end of the day, she knew none of that was going to be needed, because she had the power of the law by her side. All the facts had been aligned for her to see things clearly, there was no doubt in her mind.

That was the reason why, when Manila Luzon was finally brought in for interrogation, in a hideous yellow dress, Katya knew the owner of the sex house had no way out.

Katya walked into the room alone, like they had agreed, like Trixie had insisted. That was Katya’s case, she had worked it for months, and had finally connected all the dots to solve it. Trixie had done nothing but orgasm her into clarity.

Both knew that wasn’t precisely true, Trixie had done a hell of a lot more than that. Nonetheless, the arguments were funny enough to make Katya agree to go by herself. If she struggled with anything, Katya could always flip a pen and Trixie would know she was needed inside. The secret signal was nothing but an emergency exit, one that Trixie knew wasn’t going to be used.

Her heels sounded strong and loud, and Katya already felt so much better as she made her way to Madam Luzon. It was hard to take the lady seriously. With the feathers covering her body and the messed up hair, she looked more like a Sesame Street character than the ruthless dominatrix they knew she was, than the cold blooded killer they knew she was.

A heavy folder was dropped on the table. Right after, Katya, very slowly and very loudly, pulled the metallic chair out to take a seat. She knew the file contained nothing but props and visual aids to help her in the interrogation. All the information of the case, she could recite in all five languages that she spoke, without a problem.

“I knew we would see each other again,” Madam Luzon smiled wickedly. “I told you so.”

Katya placed her elbows on the table. “Yep, yep. You certainly did.”

Without dropping the smile, Manila let herself fall against the back of her chair. “Although, I thought it was a different type of business we would be talking about.”

They studied each other for a second, eyes scanning and minds processing; both asserting the situation from their corners.

“That is fascinating to me.” The words left Katya’s mouth in a genuine tone. She couldn’t comprehend how the woman in front of her, about to be charged for the murder of seven young ladies, could be so cool and collected. “Do you even know why we brought you here?” Katya asked, her chin resting on her fist.

A huff escaped Manila, the yellow feathers on her fascinator dancing with the air of her breath. “Yes, girl, a misunderstanding. I don’t see any other reason.”

Katya opened the file, the image on top was of the first crime scene. She took it out and placed it in front of Manila. “Recognize this girl?” A head shake answered her question, so she pulled the next one. “What about her?” The procedure was repeated until all of the victims, in their perfectly done marionette makeup and their limbs pulled up by strings, were placed on the table. “Are you sure you don’t know any of these girls?”

Manila leaned forward, glancing at the gruesome images without a flinch. “I’m telling you, I have no idea who they are, or… were, rather.”

It was almost laughable. Katya popped her tongue loudly in an attempt to stop the giggle bubbling inside her. “See? That’s where you lose me.” She shook her head in mocked disappointment. “I don’t believe you. You… are telling me… that Madam Manila Luzon, the queen of all things sexy in this town,” Katya said with a shimmy of her shoulders and a smile on her face, still finding the sick humor in the whole situation. “Was clueless about what went on in the streets? Come on. You surely have people everywhere, keeping an eye on the competition.”

Manila didn’t have the same amount of self-control as Katya, she laughed openly and loudly. “They couldn’t beat me even if they’d tried. Seriously, look at them, they are babies. Every now and again a new group of girls comes to town and tries their luck. Those girls don’t know what they have to compete against. I don’t even want to count, but enough years have gone by where I’ve been working in this field, I can tell who is gonna make it and who isn’t.”

“And you recruit only the best, don’t you?”

The question took Manila by surprise. “This has absolutely nothing to do with my team.”

Katya’s index finger pointed straight at Manila’s face. “That’s not true, though. It has everything to do with your, umm, HR department, if we may.” Katya’s hand waved between the two, as it did when she had a hard time finding the right words. “Can I share my theory with you? Ooh, it’s a pretty fun one, you are gonna love it. I’m excited to tell it, can I tell it?”

A twist of Manila’s lips was enough of an authorization to proceed.

“You see, these girls, oh, they were good. They were really good. As I’ve been told, you have a very eccentric set of clients. What happens when those clients find a way to scratch their itch somewhere else?” Katya put her hand up. “Don’t answer that, don’t answer that. I wanna tell you.” She stood up, the back of her legs pushing the chair back, her palms landing flat on the table. “You find these uber talented girls and offer them a spot in your oh-so-prestigious team. Here’s the thing, though.” Her hand fanned on top of the pictures, pointing at the victims. “None of them wanted to work for you, and you are not very fond of rejection, now, are you?”

Manila crossed her arms on top of her chest, creating a physical barrier to protect herself from the accusations. “You have no evidence to connect me to those murders.”

Katya walked around the table, her head held up high, a sensation of victory embracing her body. She dared a glance to the one-sided glass, knowing her team was there watching her, knowing that Trixie was behind that mirror, rooting for her.

“I’ve spent months, months, trying to find The Puppeteer.” Katya placed her hands on the back of Manila’s chair. “That’s your nickname, by the way. It’s a pretty cool one, huh?” She then stretched her back and started walking again. “I just couldn’t understand why a man would do any of that. How could a man have such attention to details? What could be the reason for a guy to turn beautiful young ladies into even more beautiful dolls?”

Words flowed from her lips like cigarette smoke, directed to no one in particular but filling the air around them.

“I just couldn’t understand. Wanna know why?” Once again she shook her hand, indicating she didn’t really need an answer. “Because it wasn’t a man!” Her hands went theatrically up in the air. “And I call myself a supporter of women. They should revoke my feminist license. Women can be murderers too! We have the passion, we have the brains, we have the concentration. Some of us even have real life size doll houses where we can put our puppets in, and play with them when we wish to, even if they don’t want to.” She made a dramatic pause, leaning right in front of Manila’s face. “Because nobody says no to Manila Luzon.”

For a moment, Manila’s eyes looked wider. For a fraction of a second Katya could see how the overly confident Madam Luzon was chipping away. They looked into each other’s eyes. The stare battle was broken when Katya looked down, eyeing the colorful freckles on Manila’s hands.

“If we test the paint on your hands, I’m sure it will be a perfect match to the paint of the victims. Or am I wrong?”

Pushing her chin up, and pressing her lips into a thin line, Manila finally gave up.

“I want a lawyer.”