Chapter 1: A chance encounter
Camila Cabello had been out of the academy for a whole two weeks before she ran into Lauren Jauregui.
She felt so shiny and new, the new kid on the block and her uniform felt too stiff. She hadn’t had time to wear it in, to make it look worn and used. Like she’d spent her days protecting people and not wandering the streets, waiting for something to happen.
The only good thing was her partner, they’d graduated the academy around the same time and been partnered together. Camila almost couldn’t believe someone as sweet as Ally could ever want to be a cop but then she’d met the rest of the 99th Precinct and their Sergeant.
“Does anything actually happen on patrol?” Ally whined as they walked down the street. They’d stopped to get coffee and were trying to ignore the biting of the cold winter air against their fingers.
“Apparently not.” Camila sighed. “The Detective unit upstairs is apparently so good at their job, crime doesn’t fuckin’ happen.”
The two of them laughed and tried to ignore the way their breath came out in cold visible bursts in the air.
Camila was about to radio back to the precinct for any new hits when someone’s shoulder collided with hers, her coffee flying everywhere.
“Holy shit, I am so sorry.” Camila waved it off and shook her hands free of coffee before looking up. She smiled at the concerned face looking back at her, green eyes standing out against pale skin, black hair flipped over her shoulder and a hoodie tugged tight around herself.
“Don’t worry about it.” Camila said with a bright smile, tucking her hands into her pants pockets.
There was a pause, the two of them just smiling at each other before the woman seemed to jolt back to life.
“Sorry, I’ve got somewhere to be.” The woman apologised. “Or else I’d buy you a replacement coffee.” She smiled once more before turning on her heel and jogging away.
“Well she was nice.” Ally smirked at Camila who rolled her eyes.
“Shut up Brooke.”
It wasn’t until later that she’d learn the identity of her mysterious green eyed coffee killer.
They were waiting to cross the road when it happened.
Alarms started blaring from the jewelry store across the street, there was yelling and screaming, arms waving as the security guard failed to catch the small hooded figure darting out the front door.
Camila and Ally glanced at each other before taking pursuit. Camila processed Ally calling dispatch and notifying them of their chase.
“NYPD freeze!” Camila yelled as they careened around the corner, the figure still some way in front of them. She felt the pavement thudding under her feet, her boots finally losing their squeaky clean look as she splashed through slushy puddles.
The three of them skidded around into an alleyway and Camila’s eyes widened at the sight of a chain metal fence halfway down the alley. She watched in frustration as the figure bounded up the fence, kicking the stack of boxes she’d used as a boost over behind her.
The figure landed heavily on the pavement on the other side of the fence as Camila and Ally crashed into the chainlink. The person checked the duffel bag on their shoulder, a pistol loosely tucked into the front of their jeans.
Camila slammed her palm against the fence as Ally turned around to try and cut the person off at the other end of the alley.
“Sorry sweetheart, but today just ain’t your day.” The figure chuckled, pulling their hood down and leaving Camila dumbstruck.
The same green eyes looked back at her.
“You.” She mumbled, blinking at her, her fingers clutching at the fence.
“Lauren. Lauren Jauregui.” The woman said with a quick bow.
“As in the Jauregui crime family?” Camila said with wide eyes. Lauren shrugged, adjusting the bag’s straps as a car came swerving down the alley behind her.
“I’m gonna get you.” Camila said lowly. Lauren laughed as she wandered over to the car, the back door already opened for her.
“Please babe, don’t go above your paygrade.” Lauren said with a salute, ducking into the car and slamming the door shut behind her.
Camila drew her pistol and aimed it at the driver. The driver rolled her eyes and started reversing out the alley.
“Ally!” Camila yelled as she saw her partner entering the alleyway as the car picked up speed. Camila let out a sigh when Ally dove out of the way and the car went skidding out into traffic, causing chaos before peeling away from them.
Ally made her way down to Camila and holstered her pistol.
“You find out who they were?” Ally asked, still slightly out of breath.
“Lauren fucking Jauregui.” Camila growled, shoving her pistol back into it’s holster and grabbing her radio.
“Hey newbie, heard you had a run in with Jauregui earlier.”
Camila looked up from the table and saw her friend Hayley grinning down at her.
“His daughter.” Camila said glumly.
“Ooh, which one?” Hayley pulled up a chair and leaned on the table with an eyebrow wiggle. “The hot one or the really hot one?”
“I’m hoping the hot one but… Lauren?” Camila sighed. Hayley cackled and smacked her hand on the table with a snort.
“Nope. Super hot Jauregui; pansexual criminal mastermind… supposedly.”
“Rumour has it daddy’s grooming her to be boss one day.” Hayley said, sipping on Camila’s coffee and glancing at the vending machine thoughtfully.
“Well today she was robbing a jewelry store in broad daylight.” Camila groaned. “And I couldn’t catch her.”
“Hey, don’t beat yourself up about it, Jauregui is a major crimes unit case. His daughter is currently a robbery case but the way she’s going, don’t be surprised if upstairs suddenly catch her as a homicide case.” Hayley said with a click of her tongue.
“You really think she could kill someone?” Camila said, scratching at the peeling paint on the table.
“The Jauregui’s are a mean bunch Mila, they don’t have a line not to cross.” Hayley said before someone called her name and she scurried over to them.
Camila looked down at the closed file on the table in front of her, it almost seemed to whisper to her to open it. She hadn’t even noticed her Sergeant slide it in front of her.
Taking a deep breath, Camila flipped it open and saw the grizzled face of Mike Jauregui grimacing back at her, a thick stack of paper within the folder.
She flipped through it, her shift had ended half a hour ago, Ally having left for a warm shower and a hot date.
She barely even registered the night crew coming in, her jacket thrown on the table, the Jauregui folder open and a slowly filling pad of paper as Camila took notes.
Lauren Jareugui had had the gall to spill her coffee, look her in the eye and act like she wasn’t about to commit armed robbery.
Camila pulled on her tie and undid her top button. Her hand was almost cramping as she flipped onto her third page of notes, almost towards the end of the Jauregui file.
She turned the final page over and frowned, not a single thing other than a few mentions of Lauren Jauregui.
“Sarge?” Camila called out before looking up and noticing the lack of familiar faces.
“Santiago went home hours ago Officer.” Someone said with a smile. Camila blinked at her watch and her eyes grew wide.
Holy fuck, it was late and she had to be up early in the morning.
“Oh shit.” Camila mumbled, scrambling to close the file and organise her notes.
“I can deal with this if you want?” The guy said with a smile. Camila let out a deep sigh and smiled gratefully.
“That would be awesome.” Camila said with a quiet chuckle.
“I’m Charlie by the way.” He said as he shuffled the file into a more respectable order.
“Camila. Cabello.” Camila replied as she slipped her arms into her jacket. Charlie grinned and glanced at the small bi flag on her car keys, she’d dropped them on the table as she was fumbling for her phone.
“You know, there’s a LGBTQ+ group for the NYPD.” Charlie mentioned quietly. Camila paused and grabbed her keys.
“I shall… look into it.” Camila said with a grin. Charlie nodded, clutching the file to his chest.
“My friend Kehlani is Vice Chair, so I’ll get her to send you the usual crap for it.” He said brightly. Camila nodded, making sure she’d got everything before smiling at Charlie.
“Thanks for the help, I.. will probably see you around. I tend to stay late.” Camila laughed. He nodded and waved before heading off to the file room.
Camila’s drive home was filled with vague thoughts of green eyes and black hoodies.
She wanted to know why there was so little information on Lauren Jauregui.
It might’ve been a petty reason behind her motives but she wanted to nail Jauregui for whatever crimes she’d gotten away with in the past. She wanted to lock her up and throw away the key.
That smug smirk through the chain link fence was going to haunt her until she’d succeeded.
“That new cop almost had your ass.” Dinah laughed as Lauren kicked her feet up on the coffee table.
“God no she didn’t.” Lauren scoffed, sipping on beer as Normani worked at the kitchen table.
“Please, girl almost had you by the belt.” Normani murmured, inspecting diamonds studiously.
“Just… don’t tell my dad.” Lauren huffed.
“Do we look like snitches?” Dinah said with narrowed eyes.
Lauren didn’t dignify that with a response, instead turning on the TV and scrolling through the channels.
“So is it true?” Normani asked, leaning back in her chair to look at Lauren.
“Is what true?”
“You’re Jauregui’s favourite to take over after him? We all kinda assumed it’d be your brother.”
“Chris? Dude doesn’t have any business sense. Sure he’s good at smooth talk and getting what he needs but he lacks vision.” Lauren huffed.
“Oh we know that.” Dinah laughed. “Just ‘cause, you know, he’s a guy.”
Lauren cackled and downed her beer, letting it clatter onto the floor and she leaned back on the sofa, her hands tucking behind her head and a smirk gracing her face.
“New York ain’t ready for my ass and they’re gonna damn well know it.”
Chapter 2: Arrest #1
Lauren discovers Camila is easy to rile up, her father is unimpressed with her life choices, and Camila comes to a decision on how to deal with the Jaureguis.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Camila was just pulling on her shoes, her tie loosely hanging around her neck when her phone rang. She answered, putting it between her ear and her shoulder.
“I’m outside.” The phone went silent. Camila shook her head.
She was convinced she was the only person who knew where Detective Diaz lived, let alone got a ride to work with her once a week.
Diaz had been her mentor during the academy days, and while she was a little scary, she was a great cop. The fact Camila had moved in across the hall from her had been a complete coincidence and Camila was 90% sure she was planning to move the second Camila spotted her.
Somehow she’d convinced her not to uproot her life across town and weaseled out some carpooling in the same breath.
Camila thinks it was her bi-squad speech that really sold it.
That and now they could both rock up to the LGBTQ+ meetings without feeling so alone.
Camila grabbed her keys and her bag before heading down to the street.
“Ready?” Diaz asked. Camila nodded and grabbed the helmet offered to her.
She’d never get tired of wrapping her arms around Diaz’s waist and enjoying the rushing of the wind around her helmet, all the while trying to ignore the stop/start of New York traffic.
And perhaps ignoring her slight crush on the Detective.
But from what she’s figured out… everyone has had a crush on Diaz (or Peralta) at some point during their time at the 99.
“Hey Sarge?” Camila weaved her way through the busy first floor and caught up with her Sergeant as she waited for the elevator.
“So I was reading up on Mike Jauregui yesterday, and I couldn’t help but notice there isn’t much mention of his daughter?” Camila said.
“Taylor? She swore out of the family business when she hit 16.” Santiago replied.
“No, his other daughter. Lauren.” Camila clarified as they stepped into the elevator.
“Oh she’s a wiley one.” Santiago laughed, her hands clutching her belt as the elevator moved upwards. “No one, and I mean no one, has ever made anything stick with her.”
“Really? But I thought she did b&e’s like all the damn time?” Camila said with a frown.
“Yeah and she’s either got her buddies in the car outside or the family lawyer comes in angling for a deal that gets the charges dropped.” Santiago shrugged, the elevator doors sliding open and the pair stepping out.
“That must be one hell of a deal.” Camila mused with an arched eyebrow. Santiago smiled warmly at Peralta, a pen dangling from his lips as he frowned at his computer.
“They keep promising to have her help capture her father.” Santiago folded her arms and looked at Camila calmly. “Why the interest in Jauregui anyway?”
Camila flushed and clenched her jaw, eyes darting around the bullpen as Santiago waited.
“She… taunted me. I don’t appreciate being treated like an idiot.” Camila said slowly. Santiago regarded her carefully before wandering over to Peralta’s desk.
“Hey.” Peralta mumbled, leaning back on his chair and tossing the pen on his desk. “What can I do you for?”
“This is Officer Cabello. She wants to know more about Lauren Jauregui.”
“God she scratched up my car you know? Right after I’d got it too!” Peralta grumbled, tapping his hand on his desk. “What she do to you?”
“Spilled my coffee and managed to escape.” Camila replied, suddenly feeling less petty about her reasons for disliking the woman.
“You were gonna arrest her for spilling your coffee? You and Rosa would get along great.” Peralta chuckled.
“She robbed a jewelry store later on.” Camila clarified with a small smile. Peralta pursed his lips with a nod and he seemed to get lost in thought for a moment. Camila almost started making excuses to leave when Peralta spoke up.
“Tell you what rookie, if you manage to get her, bring her to me and we’ll make something stick.” Peralta said with a grin. “Aggravated assault on frappuccinos being number one on the list.”
Camila wandered back down to the main entrance and met Ally outside for their shift.
“You… look tired.” Ally said as they started walking.
“Got home late.” Camila sighed. She filled Ally in on her intensive filing and her conversation with the detectives upstairs and was pleasantly surprised when Ally agreed wholeheartedly to try and catch the elusive Lauren Jauregui.
“We’re partners Cabello, I’ve got your back.”
“What were you thinking?”
“That I didn’t get caught so no biggie?” Lauren drawled, hands clasped behind her back, spine ramrod straight.
Her father was an intimidating man, being a New York crime boss will do that to a person's personality. But Lauren had long since become accustomed to standing on the other side of the desk, usually being reprimanded, while her father sat in his rather oversized leather chair.
“Lauren, you know you’re next in line.” Her father began, rubbing at his temples. “You can’t afford to get a record when you’re so close.”
Lauren shifted her weight and gulped. She’d refused to believe the rumours that her dad was retiring, he was immortal in her eyes; even the grey streaks through his hair seemed to gleam, daring anyone to comment on them.
The fact her future was quickly shaping up to become her present a lot sooner than she’d anticipated.
“I’m not ready.” Lauren muttered, eyes staring at the worn oak desk between them. Her father sighed, leaning back in his chair with a wistful smile on his face.
“You will be. When the time comes.” He stood up and made his way to stand in front of Lauren. “You’ll be the Jauregui that goes down in the history books, not your old man.”
Lauren leaned into his embrace and couldn’t help but wonder if she was going to screw this up as badly as her gut told her she would.
Camila and Ally were on their lunch break, sitting in a Starbucks, hats on the table between them as they laughed and ate.
“You should’ve seen his face when he realised who you were!” Ally grinned. Camila shrugged and sipped on her coffee.
“Well he shouldn’t throw around insults like it’s the 1920s.” Camila smirked. Ally opened her mouth before her eyes went wide and she choked on her breath.
“You’ll never guess who’s just walked in.” She croaked. Camila frowned and turned in her chair, eyebrows rising when her eyes landed on Lauren Jauregui. She grabbed her hat as Lauren sat down across the room, her two friends laughing and joking with her.
She strolled over, puffing her chest up as much as she dared, hat brim sitting low over her eyes.
“You’ve got a lot of balls to show up here.” Camila said when she reached the table, drawing Lauren’s eyes up to hers.
“The Precinct Starbucks Jauregui.” Camila said, narrowing her eyes briefly.
“I see how it is then.” Lauren said with a bright smile. “Shame, I had hoped to replace your coffee the next time we ran into each other.”
Camila set her jaw and tilted her head, trying to determine if the gleam in Lauren’s eyes was teasing or not.
“You have to be joking.” Camila deadpanned.
“Of course not. You’re hot, I’m not blind. Just ‘cause you’re a copper doesn’t mean a girl can't appreciate something good.” Lauren said, dragging her eyes down Camila’s form and back up to her eyes.
“I suggest you take it easy on the b&e’s around here. Now that I’m on patrol I mean.” Camila said, ignoring Lauren’s leering and glancing at her friends, immediately clocking the holsters hidden under jackets, barely visible to the untrained eye.
“We’ll be extra careful next time, thanks for the warning.” Lauren replied quickly, standing up in Camila’s space. “Now unless you’re gonna run us our orders, best you move along.” Camila noted the slight hard undertone and narrowed her eyes before ambling back over to Ally, who’d watched the whole exchange with wide eyes.
“Well that was tense.” Ally said chipperly. Camila grumbled, no longer hungry and glared at her half empty coffee instead.
“She’s just so… ugh. And it’s my first fucking month.” Camila growled.
“From what I’ve heard, she’s as frustrating as they come.” Ally hummed, sipping her tea with an amused smile.
“God she’s going down so hard.” Camila grumbled. Ally snorted but wisely didn’t comment.
It was a few days later when Camila ran into Lauren again, it was halfway through her shift, the evening sun setting over the buildings.
“Do you ever wonder what would happen if like… the sun just stopped?” Ally said. Camila laughed and looked at her partner in confusion.
“What in the sweet heck does that even mean?” Camila asked, her eyes drifting down the street at the sound of glass smashing. “Oh you’ve got to be fucking with me.” She muttered under her breath.
Lauren and her friend, the tall one with insane hair, were running full pelt down the middle of the road. There was a bag bouncing against her back and a smug grin plastered on her face. The top half of her face was covered in a classic masquerade mask but Camila recognised the pair of them instantly.
Her and Ally snapped into action when they heard the squeal of tires in the distance, the getaway driver was approaching.
“I’ve got giraffe legs.” Ally said as they started running towards the two criminals.
“I’ve got Jauregui.” Camila nodded as the criminals in question suddenly noticed the two officer’s bearing down on them.
Even from a distance Camila could see Lauren’s mutter of “Oh fuck.”
The pair split up, the tall one heading down an alleyway, pulling her phone out as she ran. Ally took off after her, vaulting over a car hood with ease. Camila blinked in surprise before shaking her head, noticing Lauren had turned on her heel and started running back up the road.
Camila could feel the burn in her legs, the steady pulse of her boots against the tarmac, they were comfortable but not exactly running trainers.
Camila also couldn’t believe her luck when Lauren tripped and stumbled, sprawling out on the hood of an old Pontiac Firebird. Camila almost laughed in glee as she finally caught up to her just as Lauren was pushing herself off.
There was a heavy thud as Camila crashed into her, sending her face planting back onto the cooling metal.
“Ow.” Lauren mumbled, her cheek squished. Camila huffed out a breath and pulled out her handcuffs, securing Lauren’s hands behind her.
Lauren turned around and leaned on the front of the car, watching Camila in amusement.
Camila pulled the bag off Lauren’s shoulders and glared at her, daring Lauren to make a break for it while she unzipped it.
Inside was an assortment of phones, laptops and a large wad of cash. Camila raised an eyebrow and looked at Lauren expectantly.
“Was on my way to the bank.”
“Likely story. You’re under arrest for robbery.” Camila said, dropping the bag to the floor and searching Lauren. She came up with a loaded pistol. “Make that armed robbery.”
Camila tried not to feel excited as she brought Lauren into the precinct elevator.
“God you’re so smug about this aren’t you?” Lauren groaned, leaning against the back wall. Camila looked at her, arm still curled around Lauren’s bicep.
“Kind of, yeah.”
“I’ll be out of here before you even get off shift sweetie.” Lauren said with a patronizing smile. Camila rolled her eyes as the elevator dinged.
“Uh huh, you wish.” Camila grumbled, dragging Lauren out of the elevator and over to Peralta’s desk. “For you Detective.”
Peralta looked up at her with wide eyes.
“Wow. You actually got her.”
“Armed robbery.” Camila said bluntly, dropping her own statement and Lauren’s evidence on the corner of his desk. Lauren huffed and sat down in the chair next to the desk, waiting for her wrist to be cuffed to the table.
“I’ll see you later babe.” Lauren said with a wink before Camila left.
“Uh huh, you wish.” Camila smiled sweetly and turned on her heel.
Camila was on an adrenaline high, she’d caught her criminal AND bought a car. The old classic Pontiac Firebird had been for sale and she couldn’t resist. She’d gone back after dropping Lauren off to be booked, the owner was pleasantly surprised.
Ally said if she kept it up she’d be Peralta 2.0 at the 99.
Camila didn’t think that was too bad of a reputation to shoot for… minus the crushing debt.
Their shift had ended, they’d signed out for the day and had grabbed their bags. Camila was holding her jacket, tie undone around her neck and her top buttons open.
“That was one hell of a day.” She sighed as they walked out the front doors.
“Couldn’t agree more.”
Camila almost got whiplash with how fast she spun around, coming face to face with Lauren Jauregui. Her hands were dug deep into her jean pockets, her jacket unbuttoned and the smuggest grin plastered over her face.
“How in the-”
"Told you I'd see you later."
"God you are-" Camila growled, Ally's hand on her shoulder stopping her from advancing on the smug criminal.
“Officer Cabello, this is my lawyer; Lucy Vives.” Lauren said, turning to the gorgeous, model-esque woman at her side. The woman smiled at her before checking her watch and groaning.
“You know I had a date tonight.” Lucy said with a huff. Lauren grinned, shooting Camila a wink before steering Lucy down the street.
“I can make it up to you.”
Camila was fuming.
“How in the fuck. Did she get off this time?” Camila scowled, moving to go back inside when Ally’s hand curled around her wrist.
“Maybe let’s not piss off the Detectives?” Ally reasoned softly, tugging Camila towards her car. “Why don’t we go get your new car?”
Part of Camila was surprised that she didn’t total her car a whole five minutes after getting in the driver's seat.
She was so angry that Lauren had managed to dodge charges again.
How the hell were some criminals so damn lucky?
Because her daddy was stupid rich and powerful, that’s why Camila thought to herself, ignoring the way it sounded awfully like Rosa Diaz.
(who had complimented her car when she’d got back from the precinct, making her day slightly better.)
That night, Camila made a vow, she was going to catch Lauren Jauregui and make sure she served her time.
Even if it meant taking down her father first.
hmu on tumblr (@alexdoeswriting) or Wattpad (@Firbird_18)
Chapter 3: Time to grow up
Camila begins to research the Jauregui's, Lauren learns she needs to grow up, and the pair of them can't seem to stop running into one another.
I've got another couple chapters written but after that updates will slow down but I'mma try and keep it fairly regular
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Ally almost seemed concerned. When she’d asked what Camila’s plans for the weekend were, she did not anticipate Camila’s response to be “research”.
“Research for what?”
“The Jauregui’s.” Camila said simply. They were hanging out in Camila’s apartment after their Friday shift.
“This has become an obsession Mila.”
“Thought you said you were my partner?” Camila pouted. Ally grinned and sipped her beer.
“I am. And as your partner I’m saying, honey, you have an obsession.” Ally laughed as a small pillow smacked into her face and Camila’s pout turned into a scowl.
“I just want their criminal asses in prison.”
“Uh huh, sounds like an excuse to see a certain green eyed heiress.” Ally snickered.
“Charlie mentioned that there was talk on the street, Lauren’s next in line to be boss. Not her brother.” Ally explained with a raised eyebrow. “Somehow you’ve got attached to the heir of the Jauregui crime family.”
“I am not attached.” Camila deadpanned.
“Right, and that’s not a wall soon to be filled with research.” Ally said, nodding to the new cork board hanging behind the sofa.
“Shut up.” Camila mumbled, hiding a smile behind her beer bottle.
“You are so lucky I won't tell your father about that.” Lucy said with an unamused smile. Lauren winced as she unlocked her apartment.
“I’m sorry for dragging you over here.” Lauren mumbled as they entered, Dinah and Normani already lounging on her sofa.
“I have a penthouse in Manhattan, and yet I spend most of my time in Brooklyn saving your ass.” Lucy said airily, waving to Dinah and Normani before turning to Lauren.
“I know, and I appreciate it. A lot.” Lauren said, making sure to look Lucy in the eyes as she did so.
“You better. If you’re not careful your dad will get tired of it and I won’t be able to help you Laur.” Lucy said softly. “He did it with Chris and trust me, he’ll do it with you too.”
Lauren frowned, she’d always wondered why Chris got busted a few years back. She assumed he’d got too sloppy that even Lucy couldn’t bail him out. She’d never questioned why he had a different lawyer at his release hearing.
“Got it.” Lauren mumbled.
“Stay away from that cop. And keep it in your pants Jauregui.” Lucy said, pressing a lingering kiss to Lauren’s cheek before heading out.
“God when will you two just fuck and get it over with?” Dinah groaned. Lauren felt her cheeks heat up and she cleared her throat.
“So we’re not talking about how I got busted?”
“Oh my god you two totally hooked up didn’t you!” Normani cackled as Dinah handed her ten bucks.
“It was ages ago. And not what we’re going to discuss.” Lauren mumbled, grabbing herself a glass of whiskey before joining them in her living room.
“Cabello got you right?” Dinah said with a smirk.
“That girl can run, I’ll give her that.” Lauren sighed. Normani and Dinah exchanged a glance.
“Sure you didn’t… slow down a little on purpose?”
“What? No.” Lauren scoffed.
“Well we drove past your ass just as she slapped the cuffs on you, and seeing you bent over a car was more imagery than I ever needed in your relationship.” Normani burst out laughing and sent Dinah into giggles as well.
Lauren downed her whiskey.
“You guys suck.”
“Lucy is right though. We’re not kids anymore Lauser.” Dinah said, wiping at the corners of her eyes.
“So more elaborate schemes?”
“How do you miss the point so successfully?” Dinah sighed. “No Laur, you can’t get busted now. Not when your old man is so close to retiring.”
“I mean what would be the harm? Dad has to stay in charge a couple extra years?” Lauren shrugged, running her finger around the rim of her empty tumbler.
“Laur, he’d straight up give it to someone else.” Normani said, a serious look passing over her face.
“Why do you think Chris didn’t get his chance to shape up? He got busted on a drug charge and suddenly was not a clean member of society.” Normani said gently. “Your dad’s after a clean slate for his heir.”
Lauren fell silent. She thought she’d been the obvious choice. Chris had never shown interest in taking over, he just liked using Lucy to make his charges disappear. He’d been having fun.
But being part of a crime family wasn’t about fun, it was about power. And money. And sex. Like everything was.
“He’s going to question if you even want to be in charge at some point.” Dinah said quietly.
“Of course I do.” Lauren replied with a frown.
“Then I think we need to shape up and lay low until your dad retires.” Dinah sighed.
Lauren groaned and let her head fall back.
“God that sounds so boring.” She whined.
A couple days later, there was a knock on Lauren’s apartment door. Dinah and Normani were passed out on the sofa and Lauren blinked herself awake at the persistent pounding.
“I’m comin’.” Lauren grumbled, tugging on her sleep shorts and readjusting her tank top.
She yanked open the door and was faced with blue uniforms. “You can’t arrest me for sleeping in my own apartment.” Lauren said around a yawn as she looked up at familiar faces.
“You forgot to sign some papers.” Camila said bluntly. “Can we come in?”
Lauren narrowed her eyes and peered out into the hallway; it was just the two of them. Lauren stepped back and the officers wandered into her apartment.
“Gimme the stuff and show me where to sign so I can go back to sleep.” Lauren grumbled.
“Are you always this pleasant?” Camila drawled, handing her the papers. Lauren leaned on her kitchen counter and signed halfheartedly wherever Camila pointed to.
It was over in a few minutes but Lauren felt her tiredness seeping back into her bones. It’d been a long few days of doing jack shit.
“Thanks.” Camila said tightly, a light pink dusting her cheeks.
“Did you have to be here so early?” Lauren complained as she walked to two officers to the door.
“First item on the agenda.” Ally said politely, smiling at Lauren. Lauren couldn’t stop herself smiling back.
“Second was arresting you. So anything you want to confess?” Camila said, folding her arms over her chest.
Lauren’s lips twitched into a smile.
“That I stole your heart.” Lauren said, batting her eyelashes and clutching her hands over her heart.
“In your dreams Jauregui.” Camila rolled her eyes and Lauren moved to close the door.
“How’d you know?” Lauren shut the door before Camila could reply. Lauren laughed as she heard Camila grumbling and Ally’s teasing.
“Don’t act like you didn’t spend five minutes staring at her ass Cabello.” Ally laughed as they walked down the street.
“I did not.” Camila said staunchly.
“You did too. Don’t blame you though.” Ally shrugged.
“Aren’t you straight?”
“Not blind.” Ally said breezily.
Camila had been staring at the file open in front of her for an hour.
“Stare much harder and you’ll set it alight Cabello.” Camila startled and looked up at Diaz.
“You ready to go?” Camila looked at her blankly. “Meeting’s tonight?”
“Oh fuck, the gay thing. Shit yeah, I’ll just pack up and we can go.” Camila mumbled.
“Want to talk about it?” Diaz nodded towards the file as Camila closed it.
“It’s just a personal interest.” Camila paused at Diaz’s expectant face. “I’m interested in Jauregui’s case.”
“Senior or the Juniors?” Diaz asked as Camila closed her bag up.
“Both.” Camila sighed. “I just don’t understand how nothing sticks at the moment.”
“Their lawyer is very good at finding loopholes and cheap ways out of things.” Diaz said sourly. “She’s the best defence lawyer in the city.”
The pair of them ducked into Camila’s car and started out of the parking lot.
“But nothing? Like not even a parking ticket?”
“They just pay those, with interest to get them out the system.” Diaz shrugged.
“That’s… not right.” Camila frowned.
“No. It’s not. Every cop who’s said anything tends to get put in records, fired politely or straight up disappears.” Diaz said darkly. Camila gulped; maybe she was in too far over her head.
“Do you think-”
“No. You’ll do fine. You’ve got drive. That’s all you need to get someone.” Diaz interrupted. “And evidence.”
Camila cracked a smile at that.
The board in Camila’s apartment was filling up rapidly; except all of it was mostly about Mike Jauregui.
How he’d started the rise to crime in his teen years. How his wife was initially part of a different gang but had ditched them for him. How he’d then subsequently destroyed the other gang when they tried to come after her.
How everyone assumed Chris would be the heir, even though he was their second child, but when he got busted for being a coke dealer before his sixteenth birthday, his dad wasn’t there to help him out.
How Taylor dipped out of the family quickly, staying away from the cops and her father’s business ventures. Staying in high school and doing well, heading to college out of state as soon as she graduated.
How word on the street was becoming more and more about the soon-to-occur change of power.
Then there was Lucy Vives; childhood friend of Lauren Jauregui who skipped a few grades, graduated high school early and went straight into law school. Only to emerge a few years later and land a job at Cowell and Lovato law firm.
She was also the Jauregui’s go to lawyer, famous for getting them out of sticky situations. There was also a rumour on the streets that she had a soft spot for Lauren still.
Camila assumed the churn in her gut at that information was from anger at the way she always got Lauren off… in the lawyer sense.
Camila groaned and ran her hands through her hair as she stared at the board, it was dark outside and the steady sounds of sirens and honking was echoing across the city.
The most she’d found about Lauren was the names of her two friends; Dinah and Normani. Also childhood friends, but not from other crime families. Just… two women who got caught up in the life at a young age.
Nothing was going to be added tonight.
She lay in bed, her mind whirring away. It’d been the first night she’d stayed at home in a good week and a half. Her other nights had been filled with stakeouts, she’d seen enough TV shows to know how it worked; take pictures and notes and sit around bored out of your mind.
Ally had joined her for some nights. Not yet deterring Camila’s investigations.
She’d also spotted the plain clothed detectives watching Jauregui instantly.
No doubt they’d spotted her too. Hopefully they’d run her plates and find out who she was before they added her to the watch list.
Tomorrow she’d add her photos to the board. Then she’d study them until her eyes fell out of her head.
Nothing was going to get in her way.
And if she dreamt of green eyes, smug smiles and tight shorts, well that was neither here nor there.
hmu on tumblr @alexdoeswriting + Wattpad @Firebird_18
Chapter 4: Prove yourself
Both Camila and Lauren get their chance to prove themselves capable but as usual run into each other.
“Cabello… are you… okay?” Santiago asked when she found Camila face down on the break room table.
She lifted her head and stared blearily up at her Sargeant.
“I’m good Sarge.” She mumbled, forcing herself to sit up straight.
“Right… this is the third time we’ve had this discussion in your lunch break alone.” Santiago pulled up a chair and sat across from Camila.
“I’ve just had some late nights this past month.” Camila said, waving her hand around vaguely.
“She’s been up stalking Jauregui.” A new voice made Camila cringe and she tilted her head up further to see Charlie looking down at her.
“Stalking Jauregui?” Santiago raised her eyebrow at her officer.
“Investigating.” Camila corrected quietly.
“Jauregui’s my case Cabello. I didn’t think you’d start your own side thing.” Charlie said with a frown, crossing his arms over his chest.
“But don’t you even want to know what I found?” Camila said with a sigh.
“I doubt it’s anything we haven’t found.” Charlie shot back quickly. Santiago shot him a glare.
“Wouldn’t hurt for a fresh pair of eyes Puth. You guys have been hunting that man for years. Maybe a young, new look is exactly what you need.” Santiago said firmly.
“Bring your research over to Major Crimes tomorrow afternoon around 1.” Charlie said, eyeing Santiago with a look that said ‘you owe me’. “We can brief each other and see where we’re at.”
“Sounds good.” Camila smiled before Charlie wandered away, shaking his head. “Thank you.” She said to Santiago.
“Don’t blow it.”
“Kid, this is a big opportunity to show me what you’ve got.” Lauren nodded as her father poured a glass of whiskey.
“I know dad.”
“Doing a meeting for me… you can learn the ropes to people pleasing.” He grumbled as he swirled his whiskey. “It’s nothing too dangerous.”
“I can handle anything dad. I’m not some kid anymore.” Lauren sighed.
“I know you can Laur, but these people are dangerous. Not some gangbangers, proper organised crime. If you can talk your way out of the situation, do it. Jauregui’s are not known for shooting first, asking questions later.” Lauren watched as he sipped his drink, eyes not leaving hers.
“I know dad.”
“Then you best get ready, the meeting’s tomorrow at 3. Take your friends with you, they need to learn the ropes of being your right hand ladies.” Lauren grinned at this. “Oh and don’t forget to look the part, so lose the sweats darling.”
“Gotcha dad. Won’t let you down.”
“I hope so.”
Camila had never been to Major Crimes before but she’d heard the stories.
Luckily The Vulture was before her time and he was long gone. No more stealing cases from the other precincts.
She headed up to Charlie’s floor and was surprised to see how sleek it was compared to the 99.
She found him set up in a conference room.
“We’ve got about forty minutes to do this until I have to go on a potential bust.” Charlie said when she closed the door.
Camila spread out her files quickly, realising that Charlie had been right, they’d got the same evidence and photos she had.
It was about twenty minutes in when Charlie ran his hand through his hair.
“This is impressive to have done in what? About a month? But there’s nothing new here.” He was frustrated, Camila could tell by the set of his jaw and veins on the back of his hands pulsing.
“Well there’s this from last week.” Camila said, sliding a few photos across the table. Charlie looked at them before his face changed and he sat up straighter.
“Where’d you take these?”
“Warehouse district. Down near the port.” Camila said.
“This… this looks like…”
“Mike Jauregui cheating on his wife? That’s ‘cause he is.”
“Soliciting isn’t a felony.” Charlie mumbled. “But if we ran a few stings through Vice… maybe get some of my CI’s to help with when to hit them… it could work. It might get us a search warrant… this could work.”
“Really Cabello. And if it works. I’ll call you for the final arrest.” Charlie said with a bright grin. Camila let out a long sigh and nodded, rubbing her eyes with the heels of her hands.
“Sounds great. Can’t wait.”
“You know, this could get you promoted.” Charlie said as he began to gather up the files.
“I thought you had to be a beat cop for a few years? Isn’t that what happened with Captain Holt?”
“Exceptions can be made. If you get put on the case once we bust him, I can get you on major crimes. Because this… all of this, it’s impressive Cabello. And just the kind of junior detective I need working with me.” Charlie said with a grin.
“Wow… but my partner-”
“Can be brought with you if she wants. Anyone you trust, I’d want working for me too.” Charlie interrupted as he shoved the files into the case box and closed the lid.
“I’ll talk to her about it.” Camila said with wide eyes.
“Come on this bust, bring your partner and we can show you how major crimes do things.” Charlie grinned. Camila was already texting Ally before he’d finished his sentence.
“You’re on Puth.”
Camila could not stop the adrenaline rushing through her body. Her and Ally had strapped on their bullet proof vests and shared a look of ‘holy shit’.
Charlie was strapped on his vest, the large NYPD standing out against the navy, his windbreaker clutched in his grasp, radio in the other hand.
“You two stick with me.” Camila and Ally nodded, following closely as Charlie pulled his jacket on as the radio crackled.
They were standing at the edge of a warehouse, a large open area just around the corner. There was a blue cabbed truck idling and just as they finished leaning against the brick, a small convoy of black SUV’s rolled onto the scene.
“Alright, word says Jauregui should be here in person for this deal. It’s a big one for his gun running business.” Charlie whispered, the three of them peering around the corner as the SUV’s came to a stop.
The back two opened their doors and out piled the muscle; all mean and moody, most of them armed, a couple of them with more powerful weapons than the average pistol.
Everyone seemed to hold their breath as the front SUV’s doors opened. When Camila saw the long, skinny legs of a woman, her eyes widened.
“Something’s not right.” She muttered as she watched Lauren’s friends stepped out of the drivers and shotgun seats.
“Jauregui will be here, our intel is solid.” Charlie whispered back as they opened the back door.
“Yeah, but which Jauregui?” Ally replied as Camila felt her jaw clench.
Out stepped Lauren Jauregui in all her glory; a sleek suit replacing the hoodie and sweatpants, black shades over her eyes, her hair slicked back behind her ears and a confident smile on her face.
Camila was only human. Besides you can find someone hot and still hate them.
Lauren could feel the blood pumping in her veins. Her first time proving to her dad she could handle the family business in more than just run-of-the-mill b&e’s.
She adjusted her waistcoat and did up her blazer button before facing the truck. The doors opened up and out came the boss of the Mendes gang.
“I was expecting your father.” He said, scuffing his shoe against the dirt.
“And I was expecting mutual respect.” Lauren shot back. “You deal with me, or no one.”
“Besides, wasn’t your dad meant to be here?” Lauren said as her men grabbed flat boxes from the SUV trunks.
“Please, dad made me the boss a few months ago.” Shawn waved her off with a tight smile. The boxes were opened and Shawn peered inside. He nodded his head and his own people grabbed a few briefcases. One was opened, shown to Lauren who smiled.
“Pleasure doing business with you Mendes.” Lauren said, turning back to her SUV.
“Maybe we’ll be seeing more of each other Jauregui.”
“You can bet on it.” She said, her hand on the door. The truck was almost loaded up when it all went to shit.
Lauren barely had time to think dad’s gonna kill me before there were cops appearing from the warehouses.
“Shit. Scatter.” Lauren said to Dinah and Normani. They jumped in the SUV while Lauren slammed her door shut and took off running through one of the warehouses behind the Mendes' truck.
Lauren slammed open the back door and heard someone crash into it just after her, a quick glance over her shoulder had her rolling her eyes.
Of course it’d be Cabello chasing after her.
Lauren ducked under abandoned cars piled high, dodged around broken containers and just generally ran for her life amongst the junkyard.
“NYPD! Freeze goddamnit!” Lauren let out a quiet, breathy laugh at that and turned a corner.
She slammed into the fence at the end of the alley, grabbing the top of it and starting to pull herself up when she heard the footsteps.
Lauren dropped back to the ground and wiped her hands clean before turning around.
“Hi there Camz.”
“Don’t call me that.” Camila growled, her pistol levelled steadily at Lauren.
“Or what? Gonna shoot me Cabello? I’m not armed.” Lauren said, raising her hands up slowly.
“I was thinking arrest you.” Cabello said, moving forward a few steps.
Lauren tilted her head.
“You have an obsession.” Lauren mused.
“Yeah, I’m aware.” Camila grumbled, one hand reaching for her handcuffs. Right as she grasped the cold metal, something pressed against the back of her head.
“Obsession can get you killed.” Dinah said as Normani grabbed Camila’s gun and unloaded it, chucking it on the ground.
Lauren lowered her hands and tucked them in her pant pockets.
“I warned you about going above your paygrade Cabello.” Lauren tsked as Camila’s eyes flashed and her nostrils flared.
“God you’re frustrating.” Camila said through gritted teeth. Lauren laughed as Normani and Dinah backed towards the car idling for them.
Lauren paused at Camila’s side, leaning down slightly.
“Should’ve listened to me.” She whispered, tapping the brim of Camila’s hat down over her eyes before following her friends.
Camila spun around, Dinah’s gun still trained on her until all three of them were sat in the car. Dinah slammed the door shut, winked and Normani drove off.
“Fucking again!” Camila yelled at the empty alley, scooping up her gun and magazine before angrily shoving it in her holster.
Charlie found her in the shooting range.
Camila snarled as she fired round after round at the silhouette. While not all of them hit the centre mass, Camila wasn’t here for practice.
Silence fell as she reloaded her pistol, she was the only one still at the range, most people having left long ago.
She heard the door open and she slipped her ear defenders off.
“Hey.” Charlie said carefully, Ally traipsing in after him.
“Hey.” Camila replied gruffly.
“It wasn’t your fault.” Ally said, leaning against the partition next to Camila. The silhouette was unhooked and Camila grumbled under her breath as she looked at it.
“I should’ve just cuffed her.”
“They still would’ve shown up.”
“Wouldn't have had my back to them though.” Camila shot back.
“And you’d probably be dead.” Charlie said bluntly. “They wanted their boss back, they saw their chance to take her and not have to kill you two.”
“Why didn’t they?” Camila felt the bite of shame on her tongue as she spoke.
“The Jauregui’s are known for not killing everyone who gets in their way.” Ally said with a shrug.
“And I doubt Jauregui Jr. is keen on fucking with her dad’s reputation.” Charlie pointed out.
“I let her get away. Again.” Camila snarled quietly.
“It wasn’t your fault Mila, she’s squirrelly. Everyone knows that. I don’t think there isn’t a cop in this precinct who hasn’t been screwed over by Lauren Jauregui.” Ally sighed.
At that Camila’s shoulders drooped and her fatigue set in.
“I know that. Doesn’t change the fact I should’ve… done something differently.” Camila muttered.
“Come on Mila, I’ll drive you home and we can wallow with ice cream. We’ve got tomorrow off anyway.” Ally said, wrapping her arm around Camila’s shoulders with a grin.
“Alright Als. I’m sold.” Camila smiled slightly and Charlie grinned at them.
“How did it go?”
“Slight mishap with the cops but other than that, flawlessly.” Lauren said as Dinah and Normani placed the four briefcases on the desk.
Mike smiled at his daughter before looking at his right hand man Jason.
“She did well. And didn’t get busted. I’d say that’s a good thing.” He shrugged. Mike’s smile turned proud and he nodded at Lauren.
“Good job kid.” He stood from his desk and moved to stare out his window. “Your 21st birthday is next month. I’m retiring then.”
“Really?” Lauren asked, her lips parting in surprise.
“Really.” He confirmed, turning around to look at her. “I want you to take my place.”
“I’d be honoured dad.” Lauren grinned, eyes shiny and wet.
“You’re gonna do the Jauregui name proud kiddo.”
“Not if that cop has anything to say about it.” Dinah mumbled under her breath.
Chapter 5: The End of the Beginning
Camila's patience finally pays off, Lucy finally earns her paycheck and Lauren gets her birthday present early.
I kinda sped through the setup chapters here cos I wanted to get to the point where it was Camila vs. Lauren, which is coming uuup.
I just gotta start writing regularly now; and with the next two weeks in isolation, alone, in my room. I should be good for it :D
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“It’s been a month.” Camila groaned as her and Ally drove around the city.
“And? That’s kinda how time works.” Ally mumbled around a sandwich.
“Nothing has happened. Charlie said they’d run some stings but like I haven’t heard anything in a couple weeks.” Camila huffed, her hands flexing on the wheel.
“Maybe he’s lying low after being busted twice.” Ally pointed out. Camila couldn’t help but agree that it was a reasonable suggestion.
“Well maybe he needs to get laid and get busted one last time.” Camila scowled.
And just like that her phone rang.
“Cabello? It’s happening tonight. Final sting op.” Charlie’s voice crackled through her phone eagerly and Camila fistpumped.
“Awesome. We’ll be there.” Camila replied with a grin.
“See you then Charlie.” Ally said sweetly before hanging up. “Are you magic? ‘Cause that was impressive.”
“Tonight. It’s all gonna kick off tonight.” Camila muttered, a renewed glint in her eye.
Camila rubbed her hands together as she sat in the back of Charlie’s car.
“Can you turn the heating up?”
“Doesn’t work.” Charlie murmured.
“This car is crap.”
“I’m borrowing it from Peralta. It was the shittiest car I could think of for this kind of operation.” Charlie snickered and checked in with the rest of the squad.
Mike Jauregui’s Bentley pulled up and came to a stop on the corner.
“Wait ‘till she gets in the car lads.” Charlie said into the radio.
The second the passenger door closed, sirens flicked on and cops came from every angle, pinning the Bentley in.
The three of them leaped out of Peralta’s crappy car and straight for the Bentley, Charlie hauled Mike out of the car and patted him down as another officer did the same with the woman.
“We got drugs here Puth.”
Charlie patted down his jacket and his eyes widened in surprise as he pulled out his own baggie along with a large caliber pistol.
“So do I.” He muttered. “Michael Jauregui you are under arrest for possession, soliciting and having a concealed weapon.”
Camila watched as Charlie read Mike his rights and led him to one of the squad cars.
“Can you believe this is actually happening?” Camila muttered to Ally as they watched everything unfold.
“Looks like we might be working for major crimes in the next few weeks.” Ally said, fist bumping Camila.
“As long as Vives doesn’t get him off.”
“I’d like to see her wiggle out of this one.” Ally snorted. Camila sighed.
“Until he’s paid bail or stuck awaiting trial, I’m not believing shit.”
Camila was happy to be proven wrong. Lucy Vives really couldn’t wiggle out of it. She had a weak line on entrapment but it was quickly dismissed by Charlie who quickly laid out their defense.
Camila watched, her uniform still buttoned up and perfect as Mike Jauregui sat in the holding cell on floor 2. Her and Ally were talking with Santiago when the elevator doors opened and in strolled Lauren.
“Where’s my father?” She said, rather calmly, as she saw Sergeant Jeffords desk near the entrance.
“In holding. We need to process him before we can post bail.”
“Great. I’ll just wait then.” Lauren huffed and walked into the break room with a scowl. She glanced at Camila and frowned.
“Don’t you dare.” Ally muttered when Camila smirked. “You get us sued, you can kiss your career goodbye Mila.”
Camila sank down in her chair and pouted at her coffee cup. Santiago rolled her eyes fondly before heading back into the bullpen.
“I can feel your smugness from here Cabello.” Lauren drawled after the silence dragged on. She lounged on the sofa, with one arm tucked behind her head.
“Smugness? Nope, not here.” Camila responded.
“Mila…” Ally warned.
“Yeah Mila, watch it.” Lauren said, moving over to the table and sipping on Camila’s coffee.
“That’s my coffee.” Camila sighed, biting her tongue to say anything vaguely antagonistic.
“And now it’s mine. I see you bought that old Firebird.” Lauren said carefully, watching Camila closely.
“Well it was just such a good price.” Camila replied blankly.
“I just think you liked pressing me up against it.” Lauren purred. “And if you hadn’t locked up my dad, you might’ve had a repeat performance one day… just without the handcuffs”
“Charlie. Locked up your dad. Not me.” Camila corrected. Lauren hummed and tilted her head.
“No response for anything else I see.” Lauren pointed out with a smirk. “You were there. And from what I heard, you busted my dad’s little affair.”
Camila twitched; they might be a crime family but they were still all family, and being exposed as a cheater is never good on anyone. She was firmly ignoring the way Lauren had ignited a small fire in her chest.
“Who’d you hear that from?”
“I have my sources. Just like I expect you had yours.” Lauren replied with an indifferent shrug.
“This was bound to happen eventually.” Camila said, folding her arms and leaning back in her chair.
“You can’t be lucky forever.”
“It’s not luck. It’s skill; honed over years of practice.” Lauren corrected, her eyes narrowing.
“Then he needed more practice.”
“Mila.” Ally said firmly.
“Come on Ally, we all heard Jauregui Sr. was losing his touch. Why else would he be stepping down?” Camila said with a tight smile.
“I’m going to enjoy paying his bail. Watching your face do that cute thing when you get frustrated. It’s going to be glorious.” Lauren said, leaning across the table slightly.
“And I am going to enjoy him losing his trial.” Camila said with a smirk.
“In your dreams Jauregui.”
Camila tried not to give her the satisfaction of getting annoyed when Lauren did indeed pay her father’s bail.
But the wink shot her way as they left the precinct told her she didn’t quite get a handle on her clenched jaw.
“God it’s gonna be so good when he goes away.” Camila breathed out, stretching her arms above her head.
“Well Santiago gave us the next couple of days off, so let’s get some sleep. Relax tomorrow and then go out and get trashed.” Ally laughed.
“Sounds perfect.” Camila sighed.
“God I can’t believe this.” Lauren mumbled, her head leaning against the window of the SUV. Normani and Dinah had come to pick her and Mike up; Normani was driving them home, Lauren shrunk into the backseat and tried to pretend this was all a nightmare.
“It’s gonna be alright mija.” Mike said from the front, not turning around to face her. Lauren closed her eyes, letting the cold window sooth her pulsing head.
“Is it bad sir?” Normani whispered.
“Put it this way, Lucy is finally going to earn the money we pay her.”
“It can’t be that simple. They can’t ruin you with- with a- a soliciting charge.” Lauren exclaimed, the words burning her throat and tears welling in her eyes.
The tips of Mike’s ears turned red and he clenched his jaw.
“There was also a drug charge. One of distributing.” Mike said quietly.
“But it’s not true. You wouldn’t.”
“I…” Mike trailed off and Lauren felt her heart crack. She always thought her dad was an open book with her, with his family. She was learning that she didn’t know her father as well as she thought she did.
“They won’t make anything stick…” Lauren mumbled, trying to reassure herself. When Dinah gently took her hand, she knew it didn’t work.
Lauren hadn’t seen the whole family in one room in years. Not since her father took over from his father.
And yet here they all were, waiting for them in her father’s office. Mike moved to his chair and faced his family.
Lauren caught the eye of her mother and saw the simmering anger behind them, the way she clutched Chris’ hand tighter and how Taylor refused to look at her father.
“The rumours are true. My arrest… is imminent.” The room erupted into murmurs and whispers. “They will most likely be raiding every known hideout we have. To prepare, you must hide everything, they cannot find anything to prosecute the family. The blame must fall to me.”
The lieutenants all looked between each other before relaying orders back to their men. Half the room emptied and all that was left was the blood relatives; the Jaureguis.
Lauren felt a shiver go down her spine before she saw Dinah and Normani walking back into the room. They nodded to her and Lauren raised her chin.
“It’s time kiddo.”
Lauren stepped up to the desk and watched as Mike brought out a necklace from his desk.
“I’m not ready.” Lauren whispered.
“Neither was I. But you are prepared. More so than I ever was. You worked the streets much longer than my father permitted me, and you have more than proven that a run in with the coppers doesn’t slow you down.” Mike reassured her, placing the necklace in her hand.
Lauren looked down at it; it was a small silver tablet with a rune in the middle, it looked like chicken foot had stepped on it.
“What is it?”
“It’s the ancient rune for bravery. My father gave it to me the day I took over. I felt it was only appropriate for you to have it now.” Mike fiddled with the ring on his pinky finger before sliding it off.
It was a silver signet ring, a small J pressed into it.
“This, however, has been in the family far longer.” Mike stared at it before sighing. “I had hoped I could give you more guidance before handing it over, but it will have to do like this.”
Lauren carefully took the ring and inspected it, feeling it’s weight; both metaphorically and physically.
“I’ll have to get it resized.” Lauren said with a faint smile.
“And don’t forget to visit your old man in the lock up.” Mike cracked a grin, placing his hand on Lauren’s shoulder. “You’re gonna do amazing.”
“New York won’t know what hit it.” Lauren agreed quietly, still looking at the ring, the necklace now swinging from her neck.
No sooner had Lauren tucked the ring in her jeans pocket, there was a knock on the office door. It swung open to reveal Detective Puth and a few officers.
“You lot move faster than I remember.” Mike sighed. The room was silent as Detective Puth placed the handcuffs on Mike’s wrists, read him his rights and led him from the office.
Lauren finally looked to her mum and siblings; they looked as torn as Lauren felt. Dinah and Normani wrapped their arms around Lauren’s shoulders and waist.
“You’ve got this Jauregui.” Dinah muttered.
“Here’s to hoping Lucy can save him.” Chris said lightly. They all nodded.
“In the meantime, you girls should go out.” Her mother said with a tight smile, “There won’t be much time to party when you’re running Brooklyn Laur.”
“That… sounds like a plan.” Lauren agreed. “Right after I get this ring adjusted.”
Camila loved to feel the pulse of the bass running through her body. There was nothing better in her opinion. It all just led to dancing and laughing and drinking. The best things in life.
Which was why she was waiting for her drink, watching Ally dance with Hayley and Kehlani. Camila smiled a thank you to the bartender and sipped on her drunk, leaning on the bar with a smile.
“God you look smug.”
Camila blinked at the voice in her ear and turned her head over her shoulder. Her eyes widened at the scowl and dark green eyes looking back at her.
“Have I stumbled into a cop night club? ‘Cause that would suck.” Lauren said as she motioned to the bartender who was quick to put a beer in front of her.
“What do you want Jauregui?” Camila sighed, turning her body around to look at Lauren more clearly.
“Last night of freedom of course.” Lauren said, clinking her beer against Camila’s glass. Camila frowned and took a sip from her drink as Lauren raised the bottle to her lips. Lauren smirked at the confusion on Camila’s face, turning her hand slightly and watching as Camila’s eyes grew wide.
“So far above your paygrade, you can’t even touch me.” Lauren said, leaning in closer to Camila, ignoring the way her skin tingled and sparked. “Best you forget you ever heard the name Jauregui.”
“You threatening a cop Jauregui?” Camila said, not backing down and narrowing her eyes. Lauren straightened up and looked down at Camila.
“Just a reminder that I’m out of your league Cabello.” Lauren said before she turned on her heel and meandered across the dancefloor. Camila watched with a scowl as Lauren passed her friends and joined her own on the other side of the dancefloor.
Camila found herself downing her drink as her friends quickly made their way to her side.
“Was that-” Ally started, glancing over her shoulder towards Lauren, Dinah and Normani doing shots.
“She say anything?” Hayley asked, tapping her finger against the bartop.
Camila hesitated and pushed her glass away from her.
“Nope.” She replied. “I’m going to head out, not really in the mood to party now.”
Her three friends looked like they wanted to protest but they seemed to understand. Camila fished into her pockets for her car keys and Ally’s hand landed over them.
“Relax. I had one drink.” Camila smiled softly. “I’ll see you tomorrow for wallowing.” Ally nodded, still looking concerned.
The bitter winter air was enough to shock the alcohol from Camila’s system when she stepped out of the club. She pulled her jacket closer around her and pulled her hood up. She swung her keys around her finger as she walked down the street, the black of her car finally coming into view. She stood at the drivers door and looked at the car; the silver of the phoenix design on the hood glinting under the streetlight.
“You know,” Camila spun around at the voice, “it really is quite a nice car.”
“And this is bordering on stalking.” Camila huffed, folding her arms and glaring at Lauren. She was standing a couple feet away, looking at her car with her hands dug deep into her jean pockets, her shoulders hunching in from the wind.
“I mean, if you hadn’t bought it. I probably would’ve stolen it at some point.” Lauren shrugged. Camila leaned against her car, unlocking it quickly before the alarm decided to go off.
“So, you going to steal this from me?”
“And have you catch me? Please, I’m not an idiot.” Lauren scoffed. Camila felt her lip twitch and she rolled her eyes.
“I’m going to catch you soon anyway, so why not speed up the process?”
“Is it impossible for you to have a nice conversation?” Lauren groaned, a frustrated smile crossing her face.
“With you? Yes.”
“Why? Because I’m a criminal? That doesn’t make me an inherently bad person.” Lauren rolled her eyes when Camila looked at her incredulously.
“It literally does.”
“I’ve never hurt anybody.” Lauren said indignantly. “Stealing from a few high end jewellers who have everything insured, isn’t hurting anybody. I’ve never shot or stabbed anyone. The most I’ve done is punched someone to get away.”
“Doesn’t mean you won’t.” Camila pointed out. Lauren narrowed her eyes and took a few calculated steps towards Camila. She took a deep breath and refused to look away from Camila’s eyes.
Camila felt her keys dig into her hand as Lauren got closer, her fist tightening with every step Lauren took.
“Do I look like a killer to you?” Lauren asked lowly, her hand coming to rest on the top of Camila’s car.
“I don’t know you Lauren,” Camila replied firmly, “I don’t know anything about you.”
“Oh I think you know more than most.” Lauren insisted quietly, her eyes searching for something in Camila’s eyes.
“There’s nothing stopping you from becoming a killer.” Camila’s lip trembled the longer Lauren looked at her.
“I swear to you, on my life, I will never, ever, harm another living thing… unless it’s a spider.” Lauren said, her lips twitching into a smile at the end of her sentence.
And with that Lauren pushed off the car and wandered down the street and ducked back into the club.
Camila didn’t breath until she’d seen Lauren’s back disappear through the door.
When Camila returned to her apartment she looked at the cork board, now empty since her evidence was with Charlie at Major Crimes.
She looked at the thin Lauren Jauregui file on her coffee table, she’d been reluctant to hand that over to Charlie for some reason.
Camila pinned the smug mug shot of Lauren at the top of the cork board. She grabbed a post-it note and scribbled one sentence on it, pinning it just below the picture.
She doesn’t like spiders.
hmu on tumblr @alexdoeswriting + Wattpad @Firebird_18
Chapter 6: I heard a rumour
Camila and Ally try their hand at helping Major Crimes and Lauren starts to settle into her new role
Boy I hate being in isolation by myself. but like I gotta
It's been a day. I am so bored
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It’d been a couple of days since Camila went into work; her Sergeant had given her and Ally a few days off since they helped bring down the infamous Mike Jauregui.
Ally had indeed spent one of the days lounging around with Camila at her apartment.
She’d also very carefully not said anything about the almost empty board on Camila’s wall.
“Was this uniform always this tight?” Ally complained as Camila locked up her car and waved off Diaz.
“Too much ice cream.” Camila teased.
“And you are yet to tell me why you carpool with Detective Diaz sometimes.” Ally said as they wandered up to the precinct.
“So you know where she lives? You must be offering something good.” Ally said slyly. Camila rolled her eyes and adjusted her tie.
“Friendship. Nothing more, nothing less.” Camila replied as they pushed open the doors.
“Cabello, Brooke. You two are officially on loan.” Santiago said as they walked up to the desk to sign in.
“We are?” Ally said with furrowed eyebrows.
“Wait, Charlie was serious about that?” Camila asked with wide eyes.
“Of course, he expects you two at the briefing in half an hour.” Santiago said with a grin. “And not in uniform.”
Camila rolled her shoulders and cracked her knuckles as her and Ally walked into the Major Crimes unit.
“God it’s lucky you always keep spare clothes in your car.” Ally muttered.
“And lucky I like you enough to keep some of yours in there too.” Camila teased.
“You’ve been in a briefing before right?” Ally asked after the receptionist had pointed them in the right direction.
“Well one of Captain Holt’s briefings a few weeks ago.” Camila shrugged. “How different can it be?”
Namely the room was twice the size of the briefing room in the 99. And filled with cops, both uniformed and plain clothed.
There was a projector in the middle of the room where Charlie spoke to another Detective. Camila and Ally hung at the back of the room and waited for the briefing to begin.
Camila spaced out and stared at the mug shot of Mike Jauregui on the screen. He didn’t look like much of a threat; more of a hardened family man, which he basically was. There was a small scar on his chin and a scratch above his eyebrow. He looked more resigned about his photo than genuinely upset about being arrested. Like he knew it’d been a matter of time.
“Alright everyone listen up; we’ve got two weeks until Jauregui’s trial begins. I’m not expecting much resistance as Vives has already started to convince him to plead guilty. Unfortunately, we need to be prepared for a full trial.” Charlie said, the whole room quickly fell silent and listened.
“We were quick to get a search warrant on Jauregui’s apartment and found several folders of charts and delivery schedules. The office will take a little longer to get a warrant for, we’ve also coordinated with the DEA to raid his known safe houses and usual hideouts.”
Camila watched as the screen changed as Charlie spoke.
There were several of the surveillance pictures of the warehouses, some of them with Mike in the shot, others with Lauren ducking out with Dinah and Normani on her heels.
Camila tuned out Charlie’s voice as she stared at the screen. She’d never noticed how Lauren seemed to always be around her father, especially in the recent month.
It was with a small jolt she remembered the ring on Lauren’s finger at the club; no wonder she’d suddenly appeared at her father’s side.
Ally nudged her side and she realised the room was staring at her and she smiled carefully.
“I was just mentioning your diligence that helped us secure an angle on Jauregui last month.” Charlie said with a slight smile. Camila nodded enthusiastically.
“Just doing the job sir.”
“More than that Cabello, you and your partner earned your spot on this taskforce.” Charlie said with a firmness that had Camila suspecting their promotion wasn’t an unanimous decision.
He turned back to the screen and continued to explain their next moves; mostly searching as many Jauregui properties and locations as they could before the trial began.
The briefing ended and everyone filed out of the room with new objectives and missions.
Camila and Ally were to stick with Charlie and oversee the operation… but mostly to just shadow the senior detective.
“Charlie?” Camila made her way over to the centre of the room and Charlie looked up at her.
“You ready for seeing how the best of the best do things?”
“Already did that at the 99.” Camila waved him off, ignoring the narrowed eyes shot at her. “No, I had a run in with Lauren Jauregui a couple nights ago.”
“She… gave the impression that she’s running the show now.” Camila said carefully. Charlie paused in his packing away and looked up at her.
“She had a ring. A signet ring.” Camila replied, her lips pursing as Charlie stared at her.
“Maybe it was a birthday present.” Charlie reasoned, leaning on a nearby table.
“It looked like the one her father used to wear. It didn’t look new.” Camila sighed, rubbing at her temples. “But you’re right, it’s probably just a gift.”
“Look into it.” Charlie said after a long pause. “Do some recon, you and your partner. Find out if the Jauregui’s have a new boss.”
“On it.” Camila said with a grin.
The two women wandered out of the briefing room.
“You really think she’s the new boss?”
“She said it was her last night of freedom. And I’m pretty sure we would’ve heard if she was getting married.” Camila pointed out.
“And yet no one’s heard anything about this change of hands.” Ally mused.
“I did. Well… such small mutterings, I barely considered it to be legit.” Camila shrugged, “I assumed Charlie had heard the same.”
“What did you hear?”
“That Chris Jauregui fucked up and his dad cut him off. No more fancy lawyers. It made Jauregui Sr. reconsider the whole ‘a man must lead’ tradition and look at his eldest. Who had never been charged with anything.” Camila sighed as she unlocked her car. “That Mike had been running less jobs himself and that on Lauren’s 21st he was going to retire.”
“Her birthday’s next week, maybe ‘cause of his arrest he had to bump up the timeline.” Ally grumbled as she got into the car and slammed the door shut. “He wouldn’t have known if he’d be around for then.”
“I know they’re bad people but god it must suck being a Jauregui right now.” Camila sighed as she pulled out of the parking lot.
Lauren had never had such a tense family dinner in her life.
She’d taken her father’s seat at the head of the table. His home office was locked and covered in police tape. Her mother had taken to sleeping at a hotel down the road.
Lauren was surprised they hadn’t frozen her father’s accounts. Perhaps he’d been right in staying away from money laundering and keeping a separate bank account for all his illegal gains.
Her mother’s legitimate business of an estate agency had been doing well for years and they had never needed her father’s money. It was just a nice bonus.
They were all eating quietly; Taylor had stopped studying for the day, Chris had stumbled in with blood on his knuckles and cut on his forehead, her mother had barely looked at any of them.
How do you pretend things are fine when your dad’s in prison and has been having affairs left, right and centre for the past four years?
Lauren twiddled with the ring on her finger, eyes fixed on the beer in front of her, her plate half empty.
“How is he?” Taylor asked suddenly. Lauren nodded absentmindedly.
“He’s fine.” Lauren replied quietly, she’d gone to see her dad at the prison earlier in the day.
“When’s the trial start?” Chris sighed, spinning his knife between his fingers.
“Couple weeks. Monday. Mani’s driving us all over to the court house.”
“Did you want to do anything for your birthday?”
Three pairs of eyes turned to look at their mother. And Lauren blinked at her, her mouth opening and closing a couple of times.
“I think Dinah wants to go out, why?” Lauren replied slowly.
“Perhaps you should do something with the family… you are in charge now.” Her mother said softly.
“I’m not running it like dad did. It’s my time now.” Lauren said, her eyes not leaving her beer.
“Be careful.” Her mother sighed when Lauren said nothing else.
Lauren nodded once.
Camila couldn’t find Lauren anywhere.
It’d been a week since Charlie put her on the recon mission.
Lauren’s 21st birthday had gone without incident. Nothing out of the ordinary and Camila returned to her research.
Newspaper clippings, vague photos and post-it notes had gone up on her board, yet it was still a quarter filled.
Lauren Jauregui was the cleanest crime lord Camila had ever met.
Mike Jauregui’s trial started in three days' time, and Camila was being called to the stand if he pleaded not guilty.
Lucy had been very quiet on how her client might be pleading. It was making Charlie’s taskforce very uncomfortable; they wanted Jauregui Sr. behind bars and the trial would drag out for months and there was a higher chance of Lucy actually proving she was the best.
“Have you seriously not found her?” Ally asked as she handed a McDonald’s bag over to Camila.
They were waiting in Ally’s slightly less noticeable car in the parking lot; they’d decided to take a break from hitting up bars and warehouses where Lauren might be.
“Nothing. Either she’s really good at evading everyone, or she hasn’t left her house for a week.” Camila groaned, letting her head fall to the dashboard.
“Well we know that last one isn’t true. Kordei and Hansen have been seen all over town, and those two don’t leave Jareugui’s side.” Ally sighed sipping on her milkshake.
“And yet every time we’ve seen them, she’s nowhere to be fucking seen.” Camila said, her voice getting more and more high pitched before she let out a squeal. “Fuck her!”
“She might take you up on that… surprised it didn’t summon her.” Ally snorted and she started her car.
Camila sighed and sat up straight, putting her seatbelt on and clutching at the McDonald’s.
A shiny, navy blue Ferrari went crawling past the parking lot, stuck in the New York lunch rush.
“No fuckin’ way.” Camila muttered as she peered at the driver’s side.
The woman had a bored expression and was toying with her sunglasses with one hand while the other was on the wheel. Her hair was pulled up into a messy ponytail and her head was moving along to music Camila couldn’t hear.
Yet the second she looked over in their direction Ally gasped.
“Holy shit. You did summon her.”
“We have to follow her.” Camila said with bright, eager eyes.
“But lunch…” Ally whined as she pulled out of the parking lot. Camila opened hers and started eating.
“You can drive and eat.” Camila shot back.
“God next time you’re driving.” Ally said as she reached over for her chicken nuggets.
Lauren wasn’t stupid.
She knew a bright red Ferrari would draw too much attention, so she’d gone for the slightly more subtle blue. Even if it meant no longer looking iconic.
But no, she wasn’t stupid. There was a crappy looking Ford following her.
It was a few cars back but it’d definitely taken all the same turns as her.
Or maybe that was the new paranoia Chris had warned her about.
Her phone rang and she jumped out of her skin. Answering it with a huff, she stopped noticing the car behind her.
“Boss, you’re late. Mahone doesn’t like lateness.” Dinah’s voice echoed into the car and Lauren tightened her grip on the steering wheel.
“Well tell him I can’t control New York traffic, so he’s going to have to wait.”
“I told you I should’ve driven you.” Normani’s voice was quieter and followed by Dinah shushing her.
“He’s not gonna want to hear you out now.”
“Put him on the phone.” Lauren sighed as she stopped at a red light, rubbing at her temples.
“You better have a good excuse Jauregui Jr.”
“Call me that again Austin I dare you.” Lauren growled. “I am stuck in traffic. I’m ten minutes out.”
“So we can do this another day.”
“Fuck no. You’ve been putting this off for three days.” Lauren retorted, flipping off the car behind her when it honked the second the light turned green.
“Look, it’s not gonna happen. You just don’t have what it takes clearly.”
“How would you know? You refuse to meet with me.”
“Girls just can’t do business like the big boys can.”
Lauren’s eye twitched before a smirk graced her features.
“Put Dinah back on the phone, but just wait until she hangs up to leave and I’ll stop trying to meet you.” Lauren said slowly. Austin grumbled but Lauren waited until Dinah muttered a hello. “Make sure he doesn’t leave. This meeting is happening.”
“Yes boss, you got it.”
Lauren chuckled when she heard a surprised yelp before the line went dead.
“Where’d you think she’s going?” Ally asked as Lauren pulled over to the curb and parked.
Camila scowled as Lauren slipped the sunglasses on her face, tugged her leather jacket tighter around her and walk into the apartment complex in front of her.
“I have no idea.” Camila mumbled, as Ally parked slightly further down the road.
The two of them got out the car and wandered over to the building; an apartment that required a security desk wasn’t exactly Camila’s scene. They walked in anyway.
Camila put her badge on the desk along with her phone, a picture of Lauren on the screen.
“Did you see where she went?”
“Uh yeah, like out back. She wanted to know where the back door was.” The guy behind the desk pointed to a tucked away door with a confused expression.
“Thanks.” Ally said as Camila strode towards the door. “Did she make us?”
“Possibly.” Camila mumbled as they entered a plain hallway, a door open at the far end leading out into the alleyway.
“Maybe she’s going to a meet?”
“Yeah but for what? Charlie said he wants proof she’s the boss now, not if she’s doing more meetings.” Camila sighed as they reached the door. She peered out and caught a glimpse of Lauren knocking on the door of a building across the back alley.
She slipped inside after Dinah opened it for her.
“Maybe we need an informant?” Ally said, joining Camila in staring at the door.
“Have you ever heard of a Jauregui informant? There’s a reason no one knows if Lauren is actually the boss nowadays. She’s cleared house and it’s just her and her two buddies.” Camila groaned. “For now just grab some pictures of this building, maybe try and snap some through a window. I’ll try and find a way in.”
Lauren walked into the building and took a look at Dinah.
“You missed a bit.” Lauren said, gesturing to the corner of Dinah’s lip.
“Dude got a lucky shot in.” Dinah grumbled, wiping at her face with the cuff of her shirt.
“Austin still around?”
“Third door on the right.”
Lauren stepped over a few unconscious men in the hallway before entering the room. Austin was hog-tied on the floor, his face bruised and pressed against the floor.
“Careful Mahone. I’d be very careful about what you say next.” Lauren said, crouching down in the front of him.
“Wait ‘till your dad hears about this.” Austin said with a sly grin.
“My dad handed the family business over to me.” Lauren deadpanned, standing up and gesturing to Austin. Normani dragged him to his feet before shoving him onto a chair at the centre of the room.
“I don’t joke about business Mahone. And you, you insulted me.” Lauren said with a sigh, shaking her head. “I don’t appreciate being insulted.”
Austin started shifting uncomfortably on his chair.
“Oh but you did.” Lauren interrupted. “You did mean it. You think, I can’t do good business. And you were right in a way. Because you’re not going to like the deal we come up with here.”
“Lauren. Come on, we’ve known each other too long.” Austin said with a wavering laugh.
“Which is exactly how I know, you’re not going to like this.” Lauren drawled. She held out her hand and Dinah unholstered her pistol, placing it Lauren’s palm carefully.
“Lauren.” Austin said, his eyes flicking between the gun and Lauren’s eyes.
She levelled it towards Austin and turned off the safety. Her finger stayed resting on the trigger guard, not quite ready to fire.
“You’re going to help me. You’re going to get me whatever I want.”
“And- and in return?”
“You get to run things your way. I don’t care how you get me what I want. You run your business, I run mine. All I need is your help.” Lauren replied, her eyebrow raising.
“That’s it?” Austin frowned. Lauren’s finger tapped the trigger guard impatiently.
“Yes. That’s it. Your unwavering loyalty. And whatever the fuck I ask of you.”
“I have other clients-”
“Not anymore you don’t. And the longer you sit here and complain, the more painful the afterparty is gonna be.” Lauren sighed, Austin finally realising the gun was still aimed at him.
The room fell silent, all waiting for Lauren’s next move. She pursed her lips as Austin sweat and shifted uncomfortably on his chair. Lauren let out a small huff and flicked the safety back on.
"I made a promise I wouldn't hurt you… but I can’t let your insult go." Lauren decided quietly, handing the pistol back to Dinah.
“So I can go? We have a deal?”
“We have a deal.” Lauren smiled wryly before nodding at Dinah. “However, like I said, people need to learn not to fuck with me.”
“Dinah, have fun. Mani, I’ll drive myself home.” Lauren said, slipping her sunglasses back on and heading for the door.
Camila had successfully slipped into the building and she could hear Lauren’s voice echoing through the hallways.
“God damn it, all I needed was proof of her being the boss. Didn’t ask for this James Bond shit.” Camila grumbled as she wandered through the halls, finally coming across the right room.
She peered through the crack in the door and her eyes widened. Lauren was meeting with Austin Mahone?
Camila quickly pulled out her phone and started recording the exchange.
She was right.
Lauren was the new boss. And now she had the proof.
It was only when Lauren handed the gun back to Dinah, Camila decided to get out of there.
She met Ally at their car, slipping inside it just before Lauren appeared at the end of the street.
“You get anything good?” Camila asked as Ally looked through the photos on her camera.
“Some good proof of a deal. Nothing about being in charge though.” Ally sighed, running a hand through her hair. “You?”
Camila smirked and waved her phone in the air.
hmu on tumblr @alexdoeswriting + wattpad @Firebird_18
Chapter 7: A Failed Celebration
The trial begins and Lauren mixes alcohol and questionable decisions.
This was heckin fun to write and ngl not how I initially planned the story out but I think I'm liking this direction more ngl
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“How the fuck did they know I’m the new boss?” Lauren growled as she peered out the window and glaring at the cops sitting in their unmarked car across the street.
“Maybe we’ve got a rat?” Normani said with a shrug. Lauren scoffed and turned around, leaning on the dining room table in front of her. “It won’t kill you to sit down Laur.”
“No one’s gonna snitch on the Jauregui’s, no matter who’s in charge.” Lauren murmured.
“Laur? Is that Normani?” Her mother’s muffled voice made Lauren sigh; today was not the day for worrying about work.
“Yeah, is everyone ready?” Lauren called out. Chris appeared in a rumpled suit and sleep stuck to the corner of his eye. Taylor was smoothing out her dress and texting on her phone. Their mother opened the bathroom door, notably not wiping under her eye and definitely not clenching her teeth together.
“Let’s get this over with.” Chris grumbled.
“You ready Mila?” Ally yelled, banging on her apartment door.
“Yo, Brooke. Keep it down.” Ally spun on her heel and came face to face with Detective Diaz.
“Uh… sorry Detective.”
“Don’t worry ‘bout it.” Diaz said, shutting her door and walking towards the elevator. “Good luck.”
Ally nodded, her mouth still hanging open slightly as Camila opened her door, adjusting her tie, her hat tucked her arm.
“God I forgot how uncomfortable these uniforms could be.” Camila grumbled, grabbing her car keys and shutting her door. “Ally? You okay?”
“Diaz lives across from you.” Ally mumbled. Camila shrugged and locked her door.
“Yeah, hence the carpooling.”
“Thought she lived like… down the block.”
“You good?” Camila snickered. “Ready for court?”
“Do we have to be in uniform?” Ally sighed, finally coming back to reality.
“Unfortunately yes. We are still officers Als.” Camila grumbled. “Even if Puth did rent us out for a while.”
The walk down to Camila’s car was quiet, the apartment block still mostly asleep at this early hour.
It was only when they got stuck in traffic that Ally spoke up again, having spent the previous time yawning.
“You ever been to court?”
“My dad had jury duty and couldn’t leave me in the house by myself.” Camila muttered, her hands flexing on the wheel.
“I meant like as a cop.”
“Watched Diaz testify the other day.” Camila said with a grin.
“You two seem close.” Ally said, carefully watching Camila’s reaction.
“She’s a good friend. And we have fun at the lgbt meetings when we can.” Camila chuckled. “I’m still surprised she hasn’t moved.”
“Peralta is still trying to figure out where she lives.” Ally laughed. There was a lull in the conversation as traffic started moving again and Camila cursed at a few taxi drivers. “Do you think he’ll plead guilty?”
Camila chewed on her lip as they pulled into the court parking lot.
“I think that Vives is good at her job, really good. So I’m expecting this to drag on.”
To say the court building was tense was an understatement.
The steps up to the building had been crawling with press, several other officers had been holding them back as Camila and Ally walked up the steps. Hayley had nodded her head at them from her place at the front doors.
Camila had almost felt claustrophobic when they’d entered the building. There were people in suits everywhere she turned, uniformed cops loitered and detectives colluded in groups. There was a general murmur echoing off the walls and high ceilings.
It was overwhelming.
Camila and Ally made their way over to Charlie’s small gathering; Lieutenant Parrish was waiting with him as well as Sergeant Santiago. The two officers merged into the group and said their hellos.
The back of Camila’s neck tingled and it felt like the crowds parted when she turned. Her eyes instantly met deep, conflicted green ones.
She gulped as Lauren tipped her chin towards Camila before turning back to her brother. The whole Jauregui family was gathered at the other end of the room; even a few of the Senior Jauregui’s were mingling.
Finally it was time and everyone filtered into the courtroom.
Lauren hated being the centre of attention.
Yes she sees the irony since she’s the new crime boss of Brooklyn.
But right now? Front row seat to her father’s trial? She’d rather be invisible.
Her mum had been putting on a brave face the past few days. Lauren had seen a multitude of different girls leaving her brother’s room, despite the fact he was barely legal. And Taylor was walking around frowning with her nose buried in whatever textbook she was currently studying from.
It felt like nothing had changed but everything had at the same time.
And now, with her hands tucked deep in her pant pockets, she felt the eyes looking at her and the whispers about her more than ever.
The room had stayed standing on order of the judge who had entered the same time they had. He sat in his chair at the top of the room, shuffling papers.
“Welcome to the trial of Michael Jauregui, we’ll be hearing the primary statements from both the defendant and the prosecution. Bring in the accused.” The judge’s voice was gravelly and dull, it may have been a big case but for him it was just another day.
Lauren felt her heart twinge as her father was brought in; his hair more grey than black, the jumpsuit a stark orange in the otherwise bland room, the silver chains around his waist and wrists jangled with each small step he took.
She glanced over at Lucy who nodded once, her lips firmly pressed together and her eyebrows furrowed.
Lauren had never seen that expression on Lucy. She almost looked frustrated but also resigned at the same time.
Everyone sat down when Mike did. The room fell silent as they all watched the judge, he peered down at Mike with a wry smile.
“How does the defendant plead?”
Lauren clenched her jaw; her father had refused to tell them his decision on the matter, Lucy had given away nothing when she’d joined them for dinner.
The whole room seemed to hold its breath as Lucy stood, her hands clasped in front of her.
“The defendant pleads guilty on all accounts.”
Lauren felt her stomach drop to her feet, she felt her brother shoot out of his seat, her mother clasped at Lauren’s arm tightly and even Taylor let out a shocked squeak.
“Dad what the fuck!” Chris shouted, starting a small uproar of other people; half of them to tell him to shut up, the other half repeating his cry.
“Sit down.” Lauren snapped, tugging on the back of Chris’ collar and pulling him back to his seat.
There was still chaos and even the Judge banging his gavel did nothing. Lauren growled under her breath and stood up.
“Everyone be quiet.” She said, her voice carrying across the room firmly. Slowly but surely everyone stopped shouting and watched her, blinking at her in surprise. Lauren waved their attention to the judge and she sat down.
“Thank you, Ms. Jauregui,” Lauren nodded at him, “In this turn of events, Michael Jauregui you are hereby sentenced to 36 years in state prison, with chance of parole at 20 years providing good behaviour.”
The gavel echoed in the room and that was that.
Lauren barely got to smile at her father before he was ushered out of the courtroom. The rest of the room filtered out quickly as the judge announced another case.
The family made their way out into the foyer and Lauren found herself collapsing onto one of the benches there.
She told her family to leave and not wait for her, she’d call Normani when she was ready to leave. She’d ordered Dinah to look after her family for the day and check back in with her tomorrow afternoon.
Lucy was also defending the next client so Lauren rested her head in her hands and waited.
It wasn’t until a hand landed on her shoulder that she snapped back to reality, blinking hard before finally lifting her head. Her eyes spun and everything went fuzzy for a second before she could focus on Lucy’s face.
“I’m sorry it took so long.”
“Why did he do that?” Lauren mumbled.
“He didn’t want it to drag out.” Lucy replied softly, moving to sit next to Lauren and placing her hand on Lauren’s knee. “We went over everything the cops had and… well he knew that it would take a lot for me to get him off and it would take time. More time than he was willing to give.”
“36 years Luce.”
“Judge was being nice, since Mike avoided the long trial.” Lucy murmured, her thumb rubbing gentle circles on Lauren’s knee.
“I’ll be 57 by the time he gets out.” Lauren whimpered, turning and burying her face in Lucy’s shoulder.
“Your dad will do everything in his power to make sure he gets out in 20.” Lucy said firmly.
“That’s still so long.”
“I know. I’m so sorry.” Lucy whispered, wrapping her arms around Lauren tightly.
By the time the pair of them left, the stairs were empty of reporters and the sun was beginning to set.
“You coming out for drinks Cabello?” Charlie called across the room. Camila and Ally had been huddled around the coffee machine when the call came.
“What do you say? Drinks?” Camila asked Ally with a grin. Ally wiggled her eyebrows and nodded. “You’re on Puth.”
They’d been at the bar for an hour and Camila was sort of regretting it. The Major Crimes unit definitely knew how to celebrate a win and Camila was all for getting drunk but something was off.
She couldn’t stop seeing the hunched over figure of Lauren Jauregui having just seen her father be sentenced; the hollow look in her usually bright eyes, the way her suit didn’t cling to her lean figure as well as usual, the lack of response coming from her in any way.
Something had almost made her go over and sit with her. Then she remembered she was the reason her father was now behind bars for the next few decades.
Probably not the person she wanted to see.
So now, as the clock drew closer to eleven, a warm beer in hand, Camila was watching her friends and colleagues getting shitfaced.
Right up until someone slid into the seat next to her and ordered a strong whiskey in a rough, hoarse voice.
Camila’s eyes slid over to her new company, taking in the oversized denim jacket and a slouchy grey beanie over messy black hair. The green of the flannel shirt beneath the jacket just covering a worn band shirt, and a fairly new looking pair of jeans; at least in comparison they looked new. The woman also wore a pair of black aviator sunglasses.
“Not celebrating tonight?” The woman asked. Camila frowned, her voice seemingly familiar but not quite right.
“Not really in the mood.”
“Pretty big win Cabello, would’ve thought you’d be doing body shots off your boss by now.” Camila rolled her eyes and gripped her pint glass tighter.
“Jauregui. This is almost stalking.”
“Almost being the key word.” Lauren sighed, pulling off her sunglasses and lying them gently on the bartop. Camila’s eyebrows shot up when she saw the redness lining Lauren’s eyes, the raw emotion pouring out of them. “I swear I didn’t know you guys would be here.”
“Where are your friends?” Camila asked softly, looking down at her glass instead of the broken figure of Lauren Jauregui.
“Looking after my family.” Lauren replied before downing her whiskey and motioning for another. “Why aren’t you celebrating? Wasn’t this all because of you?”
Camila opened her mouth to respond when she heard someone call her name. She turned around and saw Ally flash her a thumbs up and an exaggerated wink. Before Camila could correct her, she turned around to laugh with Charlie.
The sound of a glass hitting the bar drew her attention back to Lauren, there was a wince on her face as the whiskey burned down her throat.
“Like I said, I’m not in the mood.”
“This shit is probably the biggest case you’re ever going to pull, and you don’t want to celebrate it?” Lauren scoffed, another whiskey already being poured. Lauren stopped the bartender taking the bottle back with him and just pulled out her wallet.
“I guess… after I saw you and your family… it just kind of hit me ya know? He might’ve been a criminal but it doesn’t change the fact he ruined more than just his life.” Camila said quietly. Lauren scoffed again and trailed her finger along the rim of her glass.
“If it wasn’t for you, my dad would still be running this shit and I wouldn’t have to be running around after pretentious twats who think they can mug me off just because I’m a woman.” Lauren grumbled as she poured more whiskey into her glass.
Camila snorted before she could stop herself. Lauren finally looked over at her with a confused frown.
“I’m sorry, I just find it hard to imagine people actually try and get away with that.” Camila said with a weak laugh. “I mean, you scream intimidation.”
“Really?” Lauren raised an eyebrow and glanced down at herself.
“I mean usually. When you’re all suited and booted.” Camila corrected with a blink.
“Officer Cabello I think you might be drunk.” Lauren said, a small smile pulling at her lips.
“Tipsy at best.” Camila scoffed.
“So I intimidate you do I?” Lauren said, sipping on her drink. Camila paused and glanced between Lauren and her now forgotten beer.
“No. ‘Cause I’m the law. I uphold the peace. I do not get intimidated by hot crimelords.” Camila said with certainty, the world starting to spin. She may have been drunker than she thought.
“So now I’m hot am I?” Lauren teased, putting her drink down and leaning closer towards Camila. Camila blinked at her.
“You know you’re hot.” Camila replied with a frown, her nose scrunching up as she tried to figure out where Lauren was going with this.
“Well yeah, but it’s news to me that you find me hot.” Lauren said slowly. Camila pursed her lips as Lauren’s face got closer, she didn’t miss the way her eyes flickered down to her lips briefly.
“I… did I say that? Whoops.” Camila muttered, swallowing quietly and looking back down at the bartop.
She heard Lauren let out a sigh and the tell-tale clink of a glass being emptied and refilled.
“I just want to forget today ever happened.” Lauren whispered as she downed another glass.
“Then why are you talking to me?” Camila asked, turning in her chair and facing Lauren. “I’m a reminder of everything that’s happened recently.” Lauren looked at her with a raised eyebrow and a confused smile.
“I honestly don’t know. Lucy was busy tonight, she had to wrap some stuff up for dad. And that would be an even bigger reminder.” Lauren mused. “Besides it’s not like I knew you were going to be here.”
“So could you.” Lauren shot back, her hand was grasped around the neck of her whiskey bottle but she wasn’t moving to pour another drink.
Camila blinked, she hadn’t noticed them leaning in, hadn’t noticed she could feel Lauren’s breath on her lips, could almost feel their noses brushing together. What she did notice was her friends catcalling her from the other side of the room. She sighed and briefly closed her eyes at their drunken shenanigans, thanking the Lord that they couldn’t see the face of who she was talking with.
“I should go.” Camila muttered, slipping off her stool and closing her tab at the bar. She turned to leave when a warm hand wrapped around her wrist.
“I just want to forget.” Lauren whispered.
“Not with me you don’t.” Camila said quietly, although not moving away from Lauren.
“Then at least help me get home. I don’t think I should’ve had that last one.” Lauren said, letting go of Camila’s wrist to clutch at her head. Camila looked towards the door before back to Lauren.
Camila had suggested a cab but Lauren had insisted the walk would sober them up faster. And the chill air biting at Camila’s cheeks definitely proved her point for her.
“Jesus you better live close.” Camila grumbled as they walked along the frost covered pavement.
“Couple blocks away.” Lauren replied, her nose turning red and her skin looking even paler than usual, despite the flush high on her cheeks from the alcohol.
“Should’ve just got a cab.”
“Are you going to whine the whole way there?” Lauren sighed. Camila grumbled but didn’t dignify that with a response.
Lauren shivered before bringing the whiskey bottle up to her lips and taking a sip.
“Illegal.” Camila muttered.
“Gonna arrest me?” Lauren shot back with a smirk. Camila rolled her eyes and shook her head.
“I don’t think a drunk arrest will hold much water to be honest.” Camila mused. “Otherwise yes.”
“God do you always have that stick up your arse?” Lauren groaned. Camila smacked her on the shoulder and Lauren teetered into the road before righting herself.
“I thought you said you’d had enough to drink.” Camila said instead.
“Maybe I lied so a pretty cop could escort me home.” Lauren said carefully. Camila looked over at her; she definitely didn’t seem much past tipsy, let alone too drunk to get home safely.
“Cops and criminals don’t really have a tendency of getting along.” Camila replied with narrowed eyes.
“Hence the lying.” Lauren shrugged and shot Camila a smile.
They walked the rest of the way in relative silence, only breaking it to complain about the cold air or the fact they were definitely sobering up.
By the time they reached Lauren’s apartment block, Camila could barely feel the tips of her fingers and Lauren was complaining about her nose being numb.
They came to a stop in front of the door and Lauren turned to face Camila, a serious look across her face.
“Thank you, for walking me back. I know you didn’t have to, drunk or not.”
“I told you, I keep the peace. And that includes making sure young women get home safely.” Camila said, puffing her chest and tilting her chin up. Lauren let out a quiet laugh and stepped closer to Camila.
“I’m serious Camila. I know we don’t always see eye to eye-”
“Always? I am literally trying to arrest you.” Camila interrupted, folding her arms over her chest.
“And while it’s cute that you’re trying-”
“I will do it you know. One day. I’m gonna read you your rights so hard that your lawyer won’t be able to wiggle out of them.” Camila said firmly with a smirk.
“Right, well, again, cute that you have dreams but-” Lauren tried again with a huff, her breath coming out in a small cloud.
“Dreams? God it’s going to be so satisfying wiping that smug smirk of your damn-”
“Would you shut up.” Lauren growled, her hands grasping Camila’s jacket collar and tugging her forward the last few inches.
Camila fumbled with her arms, quickly moving them from across her chest to grip at Lauren’s hips and pull her against her. The warmth from Lauren’s lips seemed to start a fire beneath her skin, the cold bouncing off and melting away to the heat. Camila couldn’t do much more than hold on and follow Lauren’s lead. The sharp, burning taste of whiskey still lingered on Lauren’s lips and did nothing to stop the heat quickly spreading.
They finally pulled apart, panting heavily in the night, their breath coming out as quick clouds and mingling together, their lips barely separating.
“Camila.” Lauren whispered, tugging on Camila’s bottom lip with her teeth.
“I think I preferred it when you weren’t talking.”
hmu on tumblr @alexdoeswriting + Wattpad @Firebird_18
Chapter 8: Arrest me? Maybe later
Lauren low-key hates herself, Camila gets paid for stalking and the pair of them come to an agreement
I have no idea when I'll be updating this next cos I'm having top surgery on Friday!!!
Perhaps I shall whack out a new chapter tomorrow / this evening but I've got no idea
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Lauren groaned at the sunlight suddenly streaming into her room. She cracked an eye open to see her mother standing at her window, hands on her hips and an eyebrow raised. The epitome of disappointment.
"Laur, can you keep your late night exploits to your room please?" She said with a huff.
"What?" Lauren groaned, rolling onto her back and rubbing the heel of her hands into her eyes; a steady pounding forming quickly.
She flinched as something soft landed on her face. She moved her hands and felt a hot blush on her cheeks. She sat up and blinked at the plain black bra sitting in her lap.
“At least your brother keeps it in his room.” Her mum said, folding her arms over her chest. Lauren just frowned down at the bra.
“I… don’t remember bringing anyone home.” Lauren mumbled, closing her eyes as the room spun a little. “I didn’t… that didn’t happen last night. Pretty sure I’d know.” She added with a sigh.
Her mum relaxed and pointed to her bedside table.
“Normani’s going to be here soon, so take some aspirin. Dinah mentioned a meeting with the Seniors today.” Her mum said before leaving Lauren’s bedroom. Lauren flopped back onto the bed and groaned.
She hated meeting with the Jauregui Seniors. The meetings always dragged on and were deadly boring.
Maybe if she tuned out long enough she’d just die of boredom herself.
Camila had had a very different wake up call.
Namely by Detective Diaz banging on her front door. She’d scrambled to find something vaguely smart to put on for her briefing with Charlie and had apologised profusely as they walked to the elevator.
“Major crimes keep you out late last night?” Diaz asked once they’d made it into the elevator.
Camila’s eye twitched.
“Something like that.” She replied slowly, trying to control the flush creeping up her neck towards her cheeks.
The bike ride to Major Crimes was as quiet as usual, a little hard to talk on a motorbike and Diaz was yet to get bluetooth headsets for the helmets.
Camila had waved her goodbye to Diaz who had then taken off for the 99. Camila promptly reached for her wallet in her back pocket and froze.
It wasn’t there. She glanced around the street but there was no one around her. She frowned as she walked into the building, heading up to Charlie’s new office on autopilot; he’d been promoted to Sergeant after the success of the trial and with promotion came an office.
She went over her rushed movements of the morning and frowned. She hadn’t even seen her wallet in her apartment, let alone put it in her pocket.
The usual bustle of the unit broke her thoughts and she grinned at Kehlani as she fell into step with the Lieutenant.
“Your partner called in sick this morning.” Kehlani said with a smirk.
“Yikes. I’ll go see her after my shift.” Camila laughed.
“Heard you dipped out early. In fact, I know you dipped out early.” Kehlani wiggled her eyebrows and Camila forced a smile to her face.
“I just helped walk her home.” Camila waved her off, ignoring the shake of her hand.
“She looked cute.”
“She was very drunk.” Camila shook her head as they came to a stop outside Charlie’s office.
“Uh huh. And if you want anyone else to believe that you ‘just walked her home’, you might want to cover up that hickey.” Kehlani said with a laugh before wandering to her office.
As if it wasn’t bad enough she’d snuck out of the Jauregui’s apartment, now she had a reminder of the really stupid mistake.
The only reason she’d left in the middle of the night was that Taylor had walked out to the kitchen and interrupted them. Luckily the room had been too dark for her to realise who was with her sister.
Unfortunately (fortunately?) they decided that unless they wanted to cause a scandal, it was probably best for Camila to head home.
Camila had just pushed open Charlie’s door when a thought crossed her mind.
“Oh fucking dogshit.” Camila growled, closing her eyes, her knuckles turning white as her grip on the door handle tightened.
“Uh Camila? You okay?” Charlie’s concerned voice made her open her eyes and she smiled tightly.
“Nope. Just realised I left my wallet at home.” She said through gritted teeth. Charlie grimaced before gesturing to the chair in front of his desk.
“I take it you found something on Jauregui if you’re calling this briefing.” Charlie said, looking at Camila expectantly.
“She’s the new leader of the family.”
“Got any proof? There’s been some mixed chatter on who’s in charge at the moment.” Charlie leaned back in his chair and Camila slid a file over to him.
“Pictures and I even have a video of Lauren Jauregui conducting a ‘meeting’ with Austin Mahone.”
“Mahone? That slimeball is doing business now? Jesus.” Charlie muttered as he flipped through the file.
“Sounds like he’s been in the business for a while now. But Lauren’s definitely the one we need to go after if we want to dismantle the Jauregui’s. She’s the last heir at the moment. No way in hell is she gonna let Chris take over if something happens to her.” Camila said with a frown.
“I want you running it, from the 99.” Charlie said after a few minutes of quiet reading. Camila’s eyes widened and her lips parted.
“You know the most about Jauregui, and you’ve got a drive to get her that I don’t think anyone else has. Whatever she did to get under your skin, it’s gonna get her arrested.” Charlie said with an encouraging grin.
Camila smiled weakly and ran a hand through her hair.
“I don’t know the first thing about running point.” Camila said quietly. Charlie leaned forward on the desk.
“I’ll talk to the head of Detectives and see if I can’t get Diaz and Peralta to give you a nudge in the right direction. I’ll hold off on asking for a task force until we’ve got some arrests made and some more intel.”
Camila nodded, her mind whirring too quickly to truly process what was happening; she was being given permission to gather evidence on Jauregui and get paid for it this time.
As long as no one found out what happened last night, she’d be golden.
Lauren could feel her soul trying to leave her body.
She’d been sat at the head of the conference table for the past two hours. The five Jauregui Seniors had been rambling on about traditions and manners and general bullshit, and they showed no sign of slowing down.
Lauren was just glad that the police had released her dad’s old office space yesterday afternoon. The modern office floor was a much better place to conduct business than her father’s private study in the apartment.
There was a knock at the door and everyone turned to look through the glass, Lauren waved Dinah in and she entered with as little grace as possible.
Lauren hid a smile behind her hand as the five old man started twitching at the new muscle of the family, walked up to Lauren and slid a wallet onto the table.
“Chris found it between the sofa cushions, he couldn’t figure out whose it was.” Dinah said with a pointed look at Lauren before leaving the room.
“Continue.” Lauren sighed, smiling at her Uncle who launched into his ramblings once more.
Lauren looked at the wallet; it was simple, worn leather, clearly had been used for years. She flipped it open, periodically glancing up at her Uncle to show she was listening (she wasn’t), and looked at the cards inside.
Clearly Chris hadn’t bothered to look at any of the names of the cards and Lauren internally rolled her eyes.
She felt her stomach roll when she saw the faded name staring back at her.
How in the fuck did Officer Camila Cabello’s wallet get in her sof-
Lauren’s eyes widened as her mind cleared for the first time that day; the flashes of memories suddenly pouring into her brain.
There was whiskey… a lot of it.
There was a positively friendly Camila at the bar.
A cold, short and sobering walk home.
Followed swiftly by a very hot, very sudden, very
good bad makeout session on her apartment steps.
Which had led to a very hot, very long, very
good bad makeout session on her sofa and suddenly Lauren had the very distinct memory of dragging her hands over smooth skin and lips exploring every inch she could reach. Not to mention the echoes of very soft, quiet groans and moans now bouncing around her ears.
God what she wouldn’t give to make sure Taylor hadn’t interrupted them. It was so wrong but so fucking good. Lauren couldn’t remember the last time someone had made her feel so alive, couldn’t believe how easy it’d been for Camila to make her skin feel like it was burning. It was insane, and stupid and practically the modern Romeo and Juliet.
But dear God did she suddenly understand their stupidity a little better.
Lauren cleared her throat quietly and unbuttoned her shirt’s top button, tugging her tie loose a little.
It was suddenly very warm in the conference room.
“Really Lauser? The cop who got your dad arrested? Of all the girls in the fuckin’ city you sleep with her?” Dinah said with a sigh.
The conference room had long since emptied and Dinah and Normani had come to find her when she hadn’t arrived in the parking lot.
Lauren was still sat at the table, the wallet’s contents now strewn across the table, her head resting against the cool glass, doing a very poor job at soothing her headache.
“I don’t know what I was thinking.” Lauren groaned, sitting up and wincing at the light of the room. She pulled her sunglasses from her jacket pocket and slipped them on with a relieved sigh.
“Why didn’t you fuck Lucy?” Normani shook her head and leaned against the table.
“She was busy.” Lauren shrugged. “I wanted to drink and forget. It was an accident that I picked the bar packed with major crime cops.”
“Should’ve just walked out Laur.”
“It’s the closest bar that stocks my whiskey.” Lauren groaned.
“I mean, it’s no secret you have a thing for her.” Dinah snickered, pulling out the chair nearest Lauren and sitting down, swinging her feet up onto the table.
“Come on, it’s so obvious you think she’s hot.”
“I’m not blind.” Lauren deadpanned.
“Yeah but she caught you Ralph, like slapped-the-cuffs-on-caught.” Dinah pointed out with a smirk.
“She got lucky.” Lauren grumbled, crossing her arms and leaning back in her chair.
“If she gets lucky again, Lucy won’t help you.” Normani said. “And I mean that in all senses.”
“We didn’t sleep together.” Lauren huffed. “We just made out for a while.”
“Jesus Christ Laur.” Normani muttered. “She’s literally the reason your dad’s in prison.”
“Don’t remind me.” Lauren whimpered, rubbing at her forehead with her fingers.
“She’s gonna realise you’ve got her wallet at some point.” Dinah sang quietly. Lauren let out a deep sigh.
The plan was simple.
Cabello was visiting Brooke, her apartment was empty.
All Lauren had to do was climb the fire escape, open the window, put the wallet somewhere obvious and leave.
It’d been going great, the window had been unlocked, the wallet had been placed on the kitchen counter and Lauren was making her way back to the fire escape when something caught her eye.
It was a corkboard.
Filled with notes on her.
“God if she wasn’t a cop this would be so creepy.” Lauren murmured to herself as she peered at the board.
Of course in those precious few minutes of observing her life on a cork board, Lauren missed the muffled sounds of conversation in the hallway and the unmistakable sound of keys jangling.
It wasn’t until there was the sound of the key entering the lock that Lauren tensed up and spun on her heel just as Camila pushed open her door.
They stared at each other for a second before there was a voice from the hall.
“You okay Cabello?” Camila flinched and looked down the hall.
“Fine Diaz, forgot to close my window is all. See you tomorrow.” Camila said quickly before stepping into her apartment and closing the door. “What. The fuck.” She hissed, flicking on the lights.
Lauren winced at the bright light, hangover still persisting.
“Wallet.” Lauren closed her eyes and frowned at herself and her lack of the English Language. “You left your wallet.”
“I could literally arrest you for breaking and entering right now.” Camila said, folding her arms across her chest. Lauren’s eyes flicked down to the handcuffs secured on Camila’s belt and gulped.
She’d be the infamous Lauren Jauregui; busted after being in charge less than a month, over a b&e where she was returning something she didn’t even steal.
“And have me explain, in detail mind you, why I was returning your wallet?” Lauren said calmly, a smile on her face. Camila scowled at her and marched to her kitchen counter, flicking through her wallet suspiciously.
“I had twenty bucks in here.”
“Chris must’ve taken it when he found it this morning.” Lauren shrugged. “Wasn’t any cash when Dinah brought it to me.” Lauren was taking great amusement in the redness flushing Camila’s skin and the deepening scowl.
“How many people have found out about… it?” Camila asked, her words stilted. Lauren could tell she was trying not to yell.
“Well Chris was too hungover to care about whose it was, Dinah and Normani are nosy fucks so they found out. But that’s it.” Lauren shrugged again and scratched at the back of her neck. “Look-”
“No. You look, that can never happen again. Ever.” Camila interrupted, stalking towards Lauren and prodding her shoulder. “It shouldn’t have even happened in the first place.”
“We were drunk.” Lauren argued, rubbing her shoulder softly. “It won’t happen again. Relax.”
Camila peered up at her, scowl still firmly in place.
“I’ve changed my mind, I’m arresting you, just to wipe that smug look off your face.” Camila growled, hand reaching for her handcuffs. Lauren wrapped her fingers around Camila’s wrist and stopped her.
“You’re like a broken record sometimes I swear. I get it. You’re going to arrest me. How about you wait until it won’t ruin both our reputations.” Lauren huffed, staring Camila down.
“Now I can add assault to the list.” Camila said, glancing down at Lauren’s fingers still on her wrist. Lauren rolled her eyes.
“Please, I’m fairly sure you could move your hand if you wanted to.” Lauren shot back with a scowl forming on her face. “Just let me leave and if you’re lucky I’ll tell you where my next meeting is.”
Camila paused and regarded Lauren with more curiosity than anger.
“Fine.” She said quietly, pulling her wrist from Lauren’s grasp easily and stepping back. “Next time I see you doing something even vaguely illegal I’m cuffing your ass.”
“Noted.” Lauren said with a small salute. “See you around Officer, perhaps outside city hall tomorrow afternoon.” Lauren hurried back to the fire escape and glanced back to see Camila staring at her cork board.
She shook her head and made her way down the fire escape.
“Your girlfriend’s leading the hunt against you.” Dinah said when Lauren opened her apartment door.
“Cabello. Boys down at the 76 just called. She’s heading the investigation into you. She knows you’re the boss.” Dinah said, handing Lauren a beer. Lauren scrunched her nose at it but sipped it anyway.
Lauren groaned as her headache returned full force
“Great. Awesome. The one cop who’s got a personal vendetta against me ‘cause of a fucking coffee is hunting me down.”
hmu on tumblr @alexdoeswriting + Wattpad @Firebird_18
Chapter 9: Investigations and pizza
Camila's investigation starts off slowly, Lauren takes a few days slowly and Camila gets a realisation.
i am now, in my surgeon's opinion, flat as a pancake. and have never been this happy in my life. Now, on with the new chapter, and it's high-key a filler chapter + i have mild writer's block
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“You gonna tell me the name of that hot girl you hooked up with at the bar yet?” Ally asked as lieu of a greeting the following morning.
“Nope.” Camila said with a grin, handing Ally a coffee before they walked into the 99, uniformed and happy to be back at their usual precinct.
“Why’s it such a big deal?” Ally whined as they signed in and headed upstairs for Captain Holt’s briefing.
“Why’s it such a big deal for you to know?” Camila shot back. Ally grumbled under her breath before falling silent.
“Nothing bad happened right?”
“What? Ally no. We just made out at her place for a while. I went back home when we got interrupted by her sister.” Camila said earnestly. “And that is all I’m telling you.”
“Gonna see her again?” Ally asked as they entered the briefing room.
“Not if I can help it.” Camila muttered to herself before standing at the back of the room.
The briefing dragged on for a little longer than Camila was expecting, apparently there were a few announcements Captain Holt had to get out of the way, and Diaz took the lead on the Jauregui investigation, per Camila’s request.
She wasn’t ready to stand in front of the precinct and lay out her plans and research. She could handle overseeing the investigation from the sidelines and happily let Diaz drone on in front of the others.
The room quickly emptied after Holt dismissed them, leaving Camila, Ally and Diaz gathered around one of the tables.
“So where do we begin?” Diaz asked, flicking through a file as Camila pulled out a chair.
“Building a profile. I want to know everything about her. Where she buys her coffee, when she gets her haircut, heck, I wanna know when she wakes up in the morning. I want to know who she’s doing business with, forget what it’s about, I just want to know who.” Camila said, scribbling her rambling on a notepad.
“Holt thinks you two need to be out of uniform for this.” Diaz said quietly.
“We’re beat cops Diaz.” Ally scoffed. “We’re not allowed to be out of uniform.”
“Which is why Cabello here let me run things publicly. I take my directions from her while making this investigation legit.” Diaz said calmly. “And as that role, I get to order you two into undercover stakeout roles for now, which means no uniforms.”
“Honestly I don’t even know why I’m arguing this, uniforms suck.” Ally muttered.
“Yeah but we look good.” Camila said absentmindedly.
It’d been weeks since Camila had started investigating Lauren Jauregui.
Close to a month and she was getting frustrated.
They had close to nothing on her; their whiteboards were filled with surveillance pictures, their map covered in pins and post-it notes, Camila’s notable scrawl covering everything else.
They had case files going back a decade to help, if it could be called that. All they did was prove that Lauren Jauregui was almost a ghost when it came to making charges stick.
The only notable thing they’d learned was that Lauren had been working her way around the other gangs and triads, seemingly striking a deal with everyone she came across.
Luckily they hadn’t run into each other since their Slip-Up.
Camila was positive Lauren’s low-key flirting was going to take a turn for the worse; aka it was going to be blatant and it was going to piss Camila off so much.
They’d arrested several low level criminals linked to the family but all of them favoured jail time over snitching.
Whatever Lauren had done to strike the fear of God into her pawns was vaguely impressive.
Especially since every bit of information they had on her proved she wasn’t the one doling out beatdowns or drive-bys. Well she wasn’t physically involved in them but it was obvious she was the one who ordered them.
The only victory Camila had almost tasted was when they’d busted Dinah on an assault charge.
The almost part came in the form of Lucy fucking Vives.
Apparently, under Lauren’s new leadership, her presence extended to Lauren’s right hand woman.
Lucy apparently could save anyones ass with a high enough motive, and money seemed to be the greatest motive of all.
“I’m just saying, there’s probably another motive for her.” Peralta said around a mouthful of food.
Camila, Ally, Diaz and Peralta were gathered in the briefing room, eating chinese takeout and licking their wounds after Lucy had promptly whooped their ass.
“Vives. Sure she gets paid well but like, come on, you must’ve heard the rumours.” Peralta pointed his chopsticks at Camila with a raised eyebrow.
Camila blinked at him.
“Take her silence as a no.” Ally said with a snort.
“Jauregui and Vives. Word on the street is that she’s not just getting paid with money, if you know what I’m sayin’.” Peralta snickered, wiggling his eyebrows. Diaz batted him on the arm and rolled her eyes.
“Really?” Camila asked, poking at her food container with a frown.
“Wait, you really hadn’t heard that?” Diaz asked, her own frown forming. Ally glanced at Camila with narrowed eyes, chewing almost comically slowly.
“I listen to more… important chatter.” Camila shot back easily. Ally noticed the clench in her jaw, the almost imperceptible twitch in her right eye, the slight pursing of her lips.
“Kiyoko overheard Hansen and Vives talking on their way out earlier, Jauregui’s got a meeting with Matt Healy in a few days' time.” Ally said, pointing towards an open file at the centre of the table.
“Healy? Those two families… they don’t get along.” Peralta said with a frown. “You sure it was Healy?”
“Looks like we need to get a location before it goes down.”
“I cannot believe you.” Lauren hissed.
Dinah clasped her hands behind her back, keeping her spine straight as she stood before Lauren. Lauren had finally sat at her father’s desk, the chair should’ve drowned her out yet Dinah swallowed at the feeling of power coming off her friend.
“Lucy helped me out.”
“Because I asked her to. I can’t have one of my right hand women locked up.” Lauren said slowly.
“Laur, it was an accident.” Normani said, stepping forward to stand by Dinah’s side.
“This meeting with Healy has to go perfectly.” Lauren groaned. “He’s only just taken over from his mum, now is the perfect time to strike a deal that favours us.”
“We have a plan-”
“That needs you both there.” Lauren sighed. “Just… take the next couple days off until the meet. I can’t have this blowing up in my face.”
Dinah nodded reluctantly and glanced at Normani who smiled brightly and opened her mouth to ask Lauren a question.
“Yes I meant both of you.” Lauren said with a small smile.
The pair of them left the office, mumbling under their breath and Lauren leaned back in her chair.
All she had to do was get through the next few days.
Lauren was so close to making it, she just had to get through this evening and then tomorrow would be her meeting. It’d gone great; she’d got some paperwork done, organised some of her business and made sure Austin wasn’t trying to screw her over.
It’d been a productive few days.
So she was rewarding herself with a pizza; it was her favourite place, right around the block from her apartment and on her way home from the office. She decided to go in, order and wait around rather than go straight back to her apartment.
Of course it was just her luck that Camila Cabello walked in just after she’d finished ordering. Lauren had spun on her heel, receipt in hand and collided with Camila almost instantly.
“Fuck sorry.” Lauren mumbled before she looked up and her face went pale. “Hey.”
“Hi.” Camila replied shortly before moving around her and up to the counter.
Lauren wandered over to the other side of the room and sat at one of the tables for collection. She kept her head down and just read her receipt over and over - the one time she left her phone in her car.
There was a thud as someone sat down across from her, a blue hat making an appearance in Lauren’s periphery. She looked up and raised her eyebrows as Camila ran her hands through her hair with a sigh and undid the top buttons of her uniform, her tie loosening around her neck.
“What’re you doing?” Lauren asked as Camila finally looked over at her.
“Waiting for my pizza, obviously.” Camila replied, “What else would I be doing?”
“I… you don’t like me.” Lauren said slowly. Camila shrugged, pulling her shirt out of her pants and rolling her shoulders.
“Nope. Not even a little bit.”
“Then why are you sitting with me?”
“Better than glaring at you from another table.” Camila pointed out with a smile.
An awkwardness set in between them; Lauren trying her damned hardest to not think about how Camila sounds when she’s not actively hating Lauren. Camila just stared at Lauren with a slight glare to her eyes, a mild annoyance sitting on her face.
“What?” Lauren finally snapped.
“I heard a rumour, that you’re dating your lawyer.” Camila said suddenly, her face perfectly void of any emotion.
“You heard wrong. Me and Lucy haven’t been a thing since high school.” Lauren grumbled, avoiding Camila’s gaze by instead looking out the window.
“Noted.” Camila muttered. Lauren chanced a look at her and was surprised at what she saw.
“Were you… jealous, Cabello?” Lauren asked in disbelief. Camila scoffed and folded her arms across her chest.
“Oh my god, you were.” Lauren cackled and leaned forward on the table. “This is amazing.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about Jauregui.” Camila huffed, willfully ignoring the heat blooming over her cheeks.
“This is… this is glorious. I’m loving this. You, jealous. Ha!” Lauren snickered to herself as Camila glared at her.
“Shut. Up. I was not jealous.” Camila hissed, glancing around the pizza shop and thanking the Lord it was empty bar them.
“Oh you so were.” Lauren teased. “I know you want me Cabello.”
Camila leaned across the table, clutched the edges of Lauren’s shirt collar between her fingers and tugged her closer. Their noses almost squashed together as Camila glared at her harder.
“All I want is you in handcuffs-”
“-and behind bars.” Camila ignored Lauren’s interruption and shoved her away, letting her lean back in her chair.
Lauren started to speak before they were interrupted by someone calling their names.
Their pizzas were ready.
The pair of them walked out of the shop, still goading each other quietly as they wandered to their cars.
Lauren looked at her car and groaned, a small yellow sheet of paper trapped under her windscreen wiper.
“Fuck sake.” She grumbled, yanking it out and glaring at it.
“Should’ve parked where I did.” Camila said with a laugh as she walked ten feet down the road to her car.
“Right, like thirty- jesus, seventy bucks is putting me out.” Lauren called with a snort.
"Just don't pay it and make my job easier." Camila replied with a grin.
"You wish Cabello but I always pay my tickets. It's almost like a rule of mine: always pay parking tickets and always keep your promises." Lauren laughed before ducking into her car.
Camila stood by her door, keys in hand, pizza getting slowly cold as Lauren’s car disappeared around the corner.
"But you don't do you Jauregui…"
hmu on tumblr @alexdoeswriting + Wattpad @Firebird_18
Chapter 10: Arrest #2
Camila finally catches a break and Lauren has to adjust to a new way of life
I've got back into enjoying writing this, now shit starts happening a bit more... i think :D
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"She didn't keep her promise." Camila burst into the briefing room, making the collection of Detectives flinch.
"Who?" Santiago asked once the stunned silence passed.
"Jauregui. She promised to take down her dad and she never did. Surely that means her deal is null and void. She didn't hold up her end." Camila grinned and rustled through the case box, pulling out an old file and slapping it open on the table. “All these deals Vives made, they were never fulfilled. Ever.”
“It could work.” Diaz said with a small grin.
“But will it? Like from a legal stand point?” Ally sighed. Camila grinned and bit her lip.
“Only one way to find out.”
“Hey guys.” Lauren said around a yawn, her shirt half buttoned and her tie hanging over one shoulder.
“Hey Lauser, nice quiet few days?” Dinah asked as she watched Lauren struggle with her buttons. “Want a hand?”
“I’m a grown ass woman Dinah, I can button my own…” Lauren looked down at the shirt now buttoned up wrong. “... yes.”
Normani snickered from the doorway as Dinah rebuttoned the shirt and moved to the tie. Lauren batted her hands away and shot her a mild glare.
“We ready for this?” Lauren asked as she looped the tie together.
“Squad’s on standby if things go sideways.” Normani said with a nod. Lauren tugged her tie up and rolled her shoulders.
“Alright, we got this.”
“He’s late.” Lauren growled, tapping her foot on the floor.
The three of them were sat in a booth at the back of a small Italian restaurant in the middle of jackshit nowhere important.
It was neutral ground.
The Healy’s and the Jauregui’s had never got along. Especially not after a tiny disagreement back in the 60s.
Everytime some aspirational fresh member of the family tried to fix the family’s relationship they always met at this hole-in-the-wall restaurant. It was in neither of their territories, not Brooklyn and definitely not Manhattan.
Lauren had already been talking to Matt about a truce; sure they weren’t at war but it was too tense for the two families to be at odds for much longer.
And now he was late.
To their peace meeting.
What a knob.
“You know how lunchtime traffic is Laur.” Normani reasoned, toying with the cutlery in front of her.
“Can I just order?” Dinah whined, folding her arms with a huff.
“God yes. Just… eat.” Lauren groaned, rubbing her temples and closing her eyes.
Her eyes sprung open and she looked up at Matt Healy.
“Matt.” She replied, standing up and smoothing down her tie. “I trust you’ve considered my offer?”
“Your offer is utter bullshit Jauregui.” Matt said, tucking his hands into his jacket pockets. “You want to take over my family.”
“Matt, your business is failing. I know for a fact no one’s asked you for help in months, you’re drowning in debt. I just want to help you survive.” Lauren replied easily, taking the time to carefully roll up her shirt sleeves. “You sign our deal, I can save your family from an embarrassing failure.”
Matt’s face started to turn red, his fists slammed down on the table making Dinah’s drink slosh onto the table. She raised an eyebrow at him and stared down his entourage of muscle.
“And if I did? What would happen?” Matt said evenly.
“You’d have the full force of the Jauregui family behind you.” Lauren shrugged, sitting back down and staring up at him. “You’d be in charge, I’d just supervise. I can keep your business’, legit and illegal, alive and powerful. Doesn’t sound like bullshit to me.”
Matt’s lip curled and his teeth clenched together. He punched his fist into the table and pointed at Lauren, his bodyguards started squaring up. Normani picked up her phone when Lauren covered it with her hand and shook her head.
“I’ve talked to Austin, he told me just how you made your deal with him. You forced him to work for you.” Matt hissed.
“We came to an agreement.”
“You only want my family’s friendship because we are the best smugglers in the city.” Matt said with a grimace. “You might be the head of the Jauregui name but soon enough you’ll be replaced, you’re monopolizing New York and soon enough others will notice.”
“And if they do I’ll handle it.”
“You’ll destroy the city. I’ll never make a deal with you.” Matt yelled, his knuckles turning white as his fists clenched tighter.
Lauren moved out from the booth and walked towards him, her eyes narrowed. Matt stumbled back into the chest of one of his bodyguards.
“Your pride will be your family’s downfall. It won’t magically make your business profitable and it most certainly won’t attract new customers. Your livelihood will crumble to the ground and your pride will help it dissolve.” Lauren growled, poking him in the chest with each new sentence.
“Get. Out.” Matt seethed.
Lauren took a deep breath and clicked her fingers. Dinah and Normani appeared behind her with matching blank looks.
“You will fail if you don’t take my offer.” Lauren said calmly, pushing past him and heading for the door.
There was a loud smash as the door closed behind them, Lauren looked over her shoulder to see a table flipped on the floor, Matt screaming at his minions.
“I think… you just started a turf war.” Dinah muttered.
“And when we win, he’s going to die.” Lauren replied as they jumped in the car.
“What if we don’t?” Normani asked as Dinah started the engine. Lauren tapped her fingers against her thigh.
“We can’t afford to.”
When the trio arrived at the Jauregui office, they were surprised to see Lauren’s mum waiting outside the elevator doors.
“Mum? What’re you doing here?” Lauren asked.
“It’s the cops. They- they say they’ve got a warrant for your arrest.” She said shakily. Lauren looked at her with wide eyes.
“Are they in my office?” She asked quietly. Her mum nodded and couldn’t stop wringing her hands together. “Dinah, Mani, take her home. I’ll call you guys later.”
“That wasn’t a request.” Lauren said sharply, not looking away from the closed office door at the end of the hall.
“No. I’m dealing with this.” Lauren sighed. “Go, I’ll be okay.”
The three of them reluctantly got into the elevator, Lauren watched them go until the doors slid shut and her own face was reflected back at her.
She strode over to her office and pushed open the doors, ignoring the four officers standing in her room. She weaved between them and sat down at her desk, pulling out a bottle of whiskey from the desk drawer. She poured herself a drink and held up a finger when someone cleared their throat.
Lauren savoured her drink, finishing it quicker than she’d like before she finally looked up; Cabello, Brooke were flanked by two uniformed officers.
“Could’ve sworn you two wore uniforms.” Lauren mused.
“Temporary promotion.” Camila replied.
“And yet last night you were in uniform.” Lauren said with a frown.
“Picked up an extra shift- why am I telling you this?” Camila interrupted herself with a huff.
“You like me. Now, how can I help you officers?” Lauren said calmly, hoping they couldn’t hear the beating of her heart.
“We have a warrant for your arrest.” Camila said, her lips twitching.
“On what grounds?” Lauren asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Not adhering to your previous deals.” Camila replied, sliding the papers over to Lauren. She flicked through them, her jaw twitching. “So stand up.”
Lauren clenched her jaw and stood up, watching as Camila marched around the desk and grabbed one of her wrists, the handcuffs clicking loudly in the quiet office.
“I’ll be calling my lawyer.” Lauren said lowly.
“And you have every right to.” Camila replied. “But god if this isn't going to be satisfying. Lauren Jauregui you are under arrest…”
Lauren tuned out the rest of Camila reading her her rights, nodding once she’d finished. More focused on the surprisingly gentle touch that Camila had on her forearm as she was steered out of her office.
This did not look good.
Lauren had been right.
This was not good.
She’d been sitting in holding for a few hours at this point. Lucy still hadn’t shown up and Lauren couldn’t take the smug looks cops keep sending her.
She groaned and leaned her head back against the wall, shooting a glare to some leering guy on the other side of the cell.
“Fuck off.” She growled. The guy backed away with his hands raised, muttering under his breath.
The door screeched open and Lauren’s eyes lit up as Lucy stood in the doorway next to Detective Peralta.
“You’ve got ten minutes Jauregui.” Peralta said, stepping back to let Lauren out. She traipsed after Lucy as they walked towards one of the interrogation rooms.
The door shut and Lauren winced as Lucy whirled on her.
“What the fuck Lauren? I get a call in the middle of the frickin’ afternoon, while I was at Rikers no less, you do know I have other clients right?” Lucy snapped, shoving her briefcase onto the table with a clatter.
“Luce, I know. I didn’t know this was going to happen. Last I’d heard was that the squad was struggling to get anything going.” Lauren argued. “I figured I was in the clear.”
“So did I.” Lucy sighed, running her hand through her hair. “Cabello’s really got it out for you, what’d you do to her? Break her heart?”
“Spilt her coffee and embarrassed her when she was fresh out the academy.” Lauren shrugged.
“Good Lord.” Lucy mumbled. “Well I can probably get you out of this. All they’re claiming is that you haven’t upheld your previous deals.”
“I haven’t Luce, not even a little bit.” Lauren pointed out, sitting down with a sigh.
“It’s a technicality at best. No way they can actually push this through.” Lucy waved her off easily. “All we need to do is convince them that making a new deal is better than jail time.”
“Cabello’s gonna fight hard against that.”
“Then we need to make it good. What can you give me here?” Lucy asked with a frown.
“Lucy I can’t. If I flip on anyone my rep’s going to tank. I’m in the middle of a negotiation with Matt Healy, I cannot afford to lose respect right now.” Lauren said, closing her eyes and letting her head fall back.
“Healy? Aspirational Laur. Look, I need something to interest them.” Lucy said gently.
“And I can’t give it to you. I’d rather try and run the business from prison than let my reputation be trampled on.” Lauren replied quietly.
“Laur, they’d push for everything you avoided. I might be able to get you 18 months but I doubt they’ll want anything lower.” Lucy reached across the table and curled her fingers around Lauren’s.
Lauren looked at her with a smile and squeezed her fingers.
“I’ll be fine. Dinah and Normani can look after the fort while I’m away, and if I set up a easy line of communication, they can keep everything in line until I’m out.” Lauren said firmly.
“I’m sure your family will come and visit you soon Laur. I’ll talk to Captain Holt and see what can be done but I expect you’ll be transferred tomorrow morning.” Lucy sighed and furrowed her eyebrows.
“I’ll be okay Luce. I’m a Jauregui, that immediately gives me street cred on the inside.” Lauren said with a small smile.
There was knocking at the door and a muffled voice on the other side.
Lauren stood up and smoothed out her shirt, looking down as she tucked it back into her trousers and adjusting her belt. She was surprised at the gentle tug on her tie and looked up. The soft kiss Lucy left on her lips made her eyes flutter and her heart skip.
“I’ll see you soon Laur.”
“Right.” Lauren said dumbly as an officer escorted the pair out of the room and back towards the holding cell. Lauren watched from behind the bars as Lucy strode towards the Captain’s office, the door closing with a resounding click.
Lauren sighed and moved back to her spot near the back of the cell.
Lauren must’ve fallen asleep at some point because she was awoken by the slamming of the cell door. She jolted up and blinked rapidly; the cell was empty except for her. The lights were harsh and bright against the bullpen, and the night sky was bleeding through the shades into the room.
With a yawn, Lauren moved over to the bars, leaning her forehead on them, her fingers peeking through the gaps.
“Oh this is golden.”
Lauren opened her eyes blearily to see the smug face of Camila; she wore a pair of beaten jeans and a flannel shirt that had definitely seen better days. Her badge was clipped to her belt alongside her gun. There was a grey beanie on her hair and a pair of thick black rimmed glasses on her eyes.
“I didn’t know you wore glasses.” Lauren mumbled. Camila hummed, her hands cupping a mug of coffee.
“I didn’t know I’d feel such joy with you behind bars with no hope of escape.” Camila sighed happily.
“Well we all go eventually.” Lauren yawned. Camila raised an eyebrow and stepped closer to the bars.
“Not what I thought you’d say.”
“What did you think I’d say? Curse you Cabello, for you have thwarted my plans?” Lauren snorted and shook her head. “I’m not some Disney Villain Camila.”
“But I did though. No more Jauregui crime family.” Camila taunted, leaning closer towards Lauren with a smug grin.
“You’re more naive than I thought if you seriously believe that.” Lauren said bluntly, wiping the look off Camila’s face.
“If you really think my family will just dissolve into nothing, well I really had you pegged as smarter.” Lauren chuckled.
“Who’ve you put in charge then?” Camila asked with a frown.
“I think you should check my possessions and figure it out yourself.” Lauren said, tapping her fingers against the bars before moving to the back of the cell with a grimace.
Lauren didn’t know how much more time passed, she kind of zoned out for a while, but she brought back when she heard her mother’s voice.
“Mum?” She walked over to the bars and grinned at her family.
“Laur, this is bullshit right? This isn’t happening.” Chris said with a frown.
“Lucy got me a deal. I do 18 months for not keeping my end of my previous deals, and I do a bit of community service when I get out. But I can’t avoid this.” Lauren sighed. Taylor pursed her lips and grasped Lauren’s fingers through the bars.
“Stay safe in there. I’ll visit every week… and I’ll tell dad.” She muttered.
“Thank you, and look after mum for me.” Lauren replied with a smile.
Her mother looked at her, the heartbreak written all over her face; in the crease of her eyes to the wobble of her lips. Lauren smiled slightly before focusing on Chris.
“You, dickhead, come here.”
“You’re so nice to Tay.” Chris grumbled as he leaned closer.
“You need to get your shit together.”
“Am I-” Chris said, his face turning pale with a gulp.
“No. You are not in charge.” Lauren hissed. “But you need to start your own thing. I can’t help you and keep the family afloat.”
“Laur, I don’t know how.”
“You’ve got our name Chris. You and your friends pick an area and make a name for yourself. Just… separate yourself from the family. If my plan doesn’t work I can’t be taking you down with me.” Lauren sighed and clutched at the bars tighter.
“Alright, I’ll try. And I’ll visit as much as I can.” Chris nodded before backing away slightly. “When they transferring you?”
“Tomorrow morning. I’ll be in Rikers before the day ends.” Lauren shrugged, scuffing her shoe against the ground. “D and Mani will be around to help, so let them. Or else they’ll go nuts. Oh and keep Luce in the loop.”
The Jauregui family said their goodbyes before leaving the police station reluctantly, leaving Lauren to her thoughts once again.
The only solace she got was the frustrated groans from the breakroom.
Camila was losing her mind. She’d let Lauren get in her head and mess it around.
Of course the family would dissolve and then the precinct could worry about the incoming power vacuum to replace them.
No way she had time to name a successor. They’d kept everyone out of the loop to avoid giving Lauren any heads up.
The breakroom table was scattered with Lauren’s personal possessions that had been booked alongside her, nothing seemed out of place; there was her tie, her necklace, wallet, keys, phone, her ring, some change, a half empty pack of gum and her sunglasses.
Literally nothing was out of place.
“Uugghh.” Camila groaned, lying her head down on the table.
“Mila? You alright?” Ally laughed as she walked in with a fresh coffee in her hand.
“She’s in my head man. She’s fuckin’ with me.” Camila whined.
“Who? Jauregui? She’s literally about to be transferred.” Ally sat down and finally took in the messy table. “Mila what are you doing? Have you finally lost it?”
“I was gloating and she’s fucking with me.” Camila huffed, finally looking up with a scowl. “I mentioned how her family business is over now she’s going away but she seemed real confident that wasn’t going to happen.”
Ally looked down at the mess of belongings and shook her head softly, pointing at the centre of the table.
“Yeah, I think you may have underestimated her.” Ally said quietly. Camila followed her finger and smacked herself in the forehead.
“Fuck.” Camila muttered, grabbing the ring and scrambling for the door but she was too late.
Lauren was already in the elevator, hands cuffed behind her back and a smug smile on her face. She winked at Camila as the doors slid shut, leaving Camila standing there, the Jauregui family ring clutched between her fingers.
hmu on tumblr @alexdoeswriting + Wattpad @Firebird_18
Chapter 11: Change is coming
Lauren settles into prison life and Camila makes a career decision.
This chapter doesn't have too much camren, like at all, but this is a slowburn after all... and while my impatient ass wants them to be together n o w, that's not how this story goes
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"How could I be so stupid?" Camila groaned, her head hitting the wall with a dull thud.
Her and Ally had been given the weekend off since their investigation went so well and they’d finally managed to get one over on Lauren. Therefore, they were chilling out at Camila’s apartment, drinking and, in Camila’s case, aiming for amnesia.
"Is that Jauregui’s ring?" Ally asked, peering at the new addition to Camila’s cork board. In a small ziplock bag was a gold signet ring.
"God we let her build her back up plan." Camila whimpered, her voice muffled against the wall.
"Did you steal that from evidence?"
"I was too caught up in hunting her, I forgot about the family as a whole." Camila rambled to herself, ignoring Ally as she sipped on her beer and rested her forehead against the peeling wallpaper.
"She'll want it back eventually." Ally pointed out with a chuckle. Camila finally looked at her, turning around and leaning against the wall instead.
“Fuck. Didn’t think of that. I’ll sneak it back.” Camila conceded quietly.
“You really think she can keep the business going from Rikers?” Ally questioned, folding her arms and flinching when the cold beer bottle touched her skin.
“I think we’ve all underestimated the lengths Jauregui was willing to go to not disappoint her father.” Camila sighed. “She didn’t even hand control over to her brother. She’s trying to run stuff from prison. I definitely didn’t see that coming.”
“So now what?”
“I’ll talk to Peralta when we go back, see what we can do.” Camila chugged some beer and paused. “Maybe we can get put on the case with Major Crimes, or the gang unit, try and help them dismantle the family.”
“God it sucks being an officer. I feel like we’re at everyone’s beck and call.” Ally grumbled, making Camila crack a smile.
“One day we’ll be the Detectives around here. And it’ll be awesome.”
Two Weeks Later
Lauren was thriving. Almost.
She’d managed to bribe a few guards to help her move contraband in and out of the prison. That kept her in most people’s good books; she could get them most of the stuff they wanted and in turn they wouldn’t snitch on her, or try and beat the shit out of her.
Plus she’d be correct, the name Jauregui still held some reputation on the inside.
She’d even managed to convince one of the guards to get her a direct line to Dinah and Normani. Phone’s were risky, but messenger through a corrupt guard was much more reliable. As long as they got their pay, they weren’t likely to rat themselves out.
The only thing dragging her down was the prison gang. There were a few cliques and groups but the main gang was causing her trouble.
They were here competition in contraband and their leader, a small, young evil spawn of Satan was causing Lauren havoc.
The girl was barely an adult and yet somehow the little twerp had managed to coerce the strongest, and most violent, women into protecting her.
“Jauregui, watch where you’re bringing your stuff in. North East corner of the yard is my turf.”
Speak of the tiny devil.
“Back off Eilish, I don’t need this today.” Lauren waved her off and focused on the small TV at the front of the room.
The room fell quiet as someone turned the volume up.
The world was crumbling to pieces outside their cosy barbed wire walls.
Riots had begun. All over the country, hell all over the world. Chaos was calling and their tiny corner of the world was soon to follow.
“Jauregui,” Lauren turned at the voice and raised an eyebrow at a guard, “You’re lawyer’s here.”
Lauren frowned but followed the guard anyway. They traipsed down hallways until they reached one of the private visitation rooms, one’s assigned to lawyers and family, if they were rich enough.
“Luce? What’re you doing here?” Lauren asked when the door closed and she sat down across from her.
“I can’t visit you as much Laur.” Lucy rushed out with a grimace. “I’ve got a duty to my other clients and now more than ever people need lawyers to represent them. I’m doing more pro-bono cases than ever before.”
“Oh.. I get it Luce, you don’t need to explain yourself to me.” Lauren said softly.
“I’ll come by as often as I can but… it’ll probably be every couple weeks.” Lucy groaned, running a hand through her hair before quickly smoothing it out again.
“I’ll survive.” Lauren laughed. “It’s not… well it’s pretty bad in here but I’ll live.”
“I’ve never seen Chris work this hard by the way, he’s really trying.” Lucy said with a hum, leaning over the table and gently resting her fingertips against Lauren’s knuckles. “And Taylor’s stress limits have hit max. She’s got exams soon and wow is she studying 24/7. Your mother had to force her to dinner the other night.” Lucy snorted and shook her head.
“They say when they could visit?” Lauren asked quietly.
“This weekend. They’re telling your dad this weekend too.” Lucy replied with a deep sigh.
“Wondered why I hadn’t got chewed out on our calls yet.” Lauren muttered with a small eye roll.
“Any cops been to see you?”
“Nope. Not yet. You heard anything?” Lauren said with a shake of her head.
“Dinah said she’s heard they’re still after the business. Looks like they’re trying to dismantle it all while you’re in here.”
“It’s going to take longer than 18 months to untangle all of my connections. And that’s without me keeping things in check from in here.” Lauren said with a smug smile. “Cabello’s got her work cut out for her.”
“Diaz is heading the task force. And yes, it’s an official task force now.” Lucy said, one eyebrow raising slowly.
“Not a problem. While the 99 is ridiculously famous for not being corrupt, their neighbours are not so… tight lipped.” Lauren said, leaning back in her chair but keeping her fingers tangled with Lucy’s.
“Cabello will most likely insist on being the one to talk to you though.”
“I can handle her.” Lauren replied easily.
“Uh huh, I don’t doubt that. Just be careful with her.” Lucy said with pursed lips.
“Worried.” Lucy corrected with a warm smile. “Don’t want to see you get burned Laur.”
“I’ll be fine. She should be the one that’s worried. I’m not giving her shit.”
One Week Later
Camila awoke in a sweat, chest heaving and hands shaking. She flicked on her bedside light and ran her hands over her face. They came back dripping with sweat.
It’d been three weeks of front line service.
The nightmares had started the first night.
It was never very lucid. Always very messy.
There were flashes of light, of smoke clogging her lungs, tears pouring down her face, her hands raw despite the thick gloves. The armour dragging her down, the shield pushing her back into the ground. The glass in her mask, her only way of seeing the madness, cracked and scratching at her face.
It always ended the same; with a terrified face staring back at her, the fear shining in their nameless eyes made her sick.
It was fake, her imagination playing on her own fears. And yet she knew they were reflections of what she’d seen every day for the past three weeks.
Those looks were too accurate to be fictional.
So tonight she sat in her bed, tears dripping down her chest, shirt sticking to her sweaty skin, she stared at the wall until her eyes unfocused. Her glasses remained on her bedside table, her knuckles stayed grazed and bruised; gloves can only protect so much and holding heavy equipment for twelve hours a day took its toll.
There was a knock at her door.
She ignored it.
It came again.
Camila blinked when she heard the door unlocking. Didn’t move to her dresser where her service pistol sat, unloaded and with the safety on.
She had a passing thought about home invaders before Detective Diaz appeared in her bedroom door.
“What are you doing here?” Camila asked, her voice hoarse.
“I heard a scream.” Diaz said quietly. Camila closed her eyes and wiped at her cheeks.
“Nightmare.” She muttered as Diaz stepped inside the room.
“Side effect of the job.”
“Only recently.” Camila balled her fists in her sheets and clenched her jaw.
“It’ll be okay. It really will.” Diaz said, sitting at the foot of Camila’s bed.
“This isn't right. None of it is.” Camila huffed. “How can you be okay with this?”
“I’m not.” Diaz said firmly, her eyes narrowing slightly. “I do what I do to make sure cops like those assholes aren’t the majority.”
“I’m not sure that’s enough for me.” Camila whispered. Diaz sighed.
“I didn’t think it would.” Diaz rubbed the back of her neck and looked away from Camila. “I’m calling Brooke, she’ll be here soon. But whatever you decide… the 99 will always have your back.”
Camila nodded slowly and watched as Diaz left the room, already tapping at her phone. She heard her muffled voice and one angry hiss before she appeared in the doorway.
“You good for twenty minutes? Or do you want me to hang around?”
Camila hesitated and Diaz smiled.
“I’ll stay. Not like I’ve got anything better to do. Wanna watch some TV?”
Camila swallowed as she looked up at the police precinct.
“I’ve got your back Mila. Especially with this.” Ally said firmly, letter clutched tightly in her grasp.
They walked inside, past the armoured officers, the overwhelming amount of angry friends and family.
The elevators were filled with cops and civilians.
When they reached the bullpen, it was a clamouring mess of yelling and unorganized people.
Camila managed to catch Diaz’s eye and she was met with a bright, yet sad, grin. Camila heard Peralta splutter and start complaining how he never got Diaz to smile at him.
“You’re not a cute girl Peralta.” Diaz shot back easily as she looked down at the reports on her desk.
Camila stalled at that and stared at Diaz. Ally rolled her eyes, muttered something about ‘useless bisexuals’ and tugged her towards Captain Holt’s office.
The door closed behind them and the noise was muffled.
“Can I help you officers?”
“These are our letters of resignation.” Camila said, taking Ally’s letter and placing it alongside hers on Holt’s desk. He looked at them blankly before nodding solemnly.
“I understand. It was a pleasure working with you. You shall be missed here at the 99.” Captain Holt rose from his chair and shook their hands firmly.
“It was an honour to be here Sir.” Camila said with a smile.
“We’re sorry to have to leave to be honest Sir.” Ally admitted quietly.
“We all understand why you need to leave. I wish I could join you, but I have my detectives to think about, and I dread to think who might replace me should I leave.” Captain Holt explained with a tight grimace on his face.
They said goodbye before leaving the office and traipsing through the bullpen, stopping by desks to say their goodbyes to the detectives.
“You resigned?” Diaz asked quietly. Camila nodded and leaned against her desk.
“It’s for the best.” Camila replied, looking down at the desk, watching her fingers tap against the metal.
“You should come by the bar later,” Diaz said firmly, “so we can say goodbye properly.”
“Sounds like a good idea.” Camila grinned, lingering at the desk for a few seconds too long before Ally called her name. “See you then?”
“See you.” Diaz nodded with a small smile.
“Shut up Jake.”
It wasn’t that she regret coming out, she just regrets having that last vodka shot.
And now Camila was spacing out in a corner booth of the bar, vaguely listening to the raucous laughter from the 99 detectives.
Ally was sat next to her, her head resting on Camila’s shoulder as she mumbled along to the song playing in the bar.
“You alright Cabello?” Diaz asked as she slid into the booth across from Camila.
“You look a little out of it.” Diaz chuckled and sipped on a glass of whiskey. Camila focused in on the glass and her eyes glazed over.
“Last time I got drunk I made a mistake.” Camila said absentmindedly.
“Start a fight?” Diaz asked. Camila shook her head before wincing and swallowing harshly.
“Talked to someone I shouldn’t.”
“Nothing wrong with talking, unless there’s a restraining order involved.” Diaz pointed out, a slight slur to her words.
“Maybe we did more than talk.” Camila admitted with a hot blush on her cheeks. Diaz raised an eyebrow and Camila shrugged, before glancing down at a drowsy Ally who grumbled at the movement. “She wanted to forget and I helped for a while but I was the cause of her pain.”
“Sounds like you hooked up with an ex.” Diaz said, sipping at her whiskey again and Camila couldn’t help but stare.
“No. We don’t like each other.” Camila mumbled, blinking sluggishly and looking away towards the bar.
“Maybe you get along better than you think, if she came to you for help.” Diaz said with a soft frown.
“Nah, it was an accident. She didn’t know I was gonna be there.” Camila waved her off and once again made Ally complain. “Als move if you don’t like me moving.”
Ally grumbled but did move her head to rest on the back of the booth instead of Camila’s shoulder.
Camila felt herself spacing out again; she didn’t watch when Diaz left, didn’t notice her half empty beer being replaced with a pint of water.
It was only when she felt someone sit next to her that she refocused. She turned her head and blinked in surprise at the slightly concerned face of Diaz.
“Drink your water.” She said, nudging the glass closer to Camila, who dutifully started drinking. “And you can call me Rosa you know.”
“You’re a detective.” Camila said between gulps. “I’m just an officer.”
“Well you’re not any more, so Rosa is fine.” She said with a smile.
“How do you do that Cabello?” Jake said as he sat down across from them.
“Do what?” Camila asked, wiping away the water dribbling down her chin.
“Rosa smiles around you. It’s weird.” Jake said with a shiver. Rosa narrowed her eyes at him. Camila raised an eyebrow when Jake yelped with a jolt; a strong suspicion that Rosa had kicked him in the shin.
“Shut up Jake.”
“I’m just intrigued is all.” He said, leaning back and throwing his arm along the back of the booth with a smooth grin.
“Rosa already told you how.” Ally suddenly piped up with a slanted smile. “She thinks Camila’s cute.”
“That is adorable.” Jake replied with a teasing grin.
Camila let her eyes wander around the bar as the two detectives argued. It seemed pretty busy for a Wednesday night but her eyes lingered on a short brunette at the bar. She seemed to be very purposefully not looking over at their table. Even through a drunken haze Camila could notice the obvious avoidance.
She was about to say something when she felt an arm settle behind her on the back of the booth, just brushing against her shoulders.
So she ignored the woman and kept drinking her water, enjoying the company around her.
It wasn’t until she was on her way out of the bar, several hours later, that she ran into the short woman from the bar.
Rosa had been laughing with Ally, her arm loosely around Camila’s shoulders, when Camila had been bumped into.
She looked around and noticed the woman.
“Sorry, didn’t see you there.” The woman said with a smile. Camila waved her off and the trio started walking again.
“Als, you’re crashing with me.” Camila said when Ally started calling a cab for herself while Rosa whistled one to a stop outside the bar.
It wasn’t until she was lying in her bed that Camila felt something stabbing her in the side. She dug her fingers into her pockets and pulled out a small card.
It was a business card.
“That woman.” Camila mumbled to herself as she flipped it over to see the writing.
“BB Investigations… private investigators.. Huh...”
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Chapter 12: Things get weird
Lauren tries to keep out of the prison riots while Camila finds a new job
I made some minor adjustments to the last sections of the previous chapter to line up with a character change.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Lauren was relaxing in her cell with her bunkmate, an energetic, mildly manic girl who went by Halsey, when everything suddenly went to shit.
They could hear a commotion coming from the halls, shouting and screaming bouncing off the walls. Lauren pushed herself up onto her elbows and raised an eyebrow as she saw a group of guards jogging past the door.
Halsey went up to the bars and clutched at them, trying to peer down the hall.
“Oi Eilish.” She hissed. A hand appeared through the cell door next to them and flipped a middle finger at her. “Come on, what’s going on?”
“Riot in the yard apparently.” Eilish reluctantly replied.
“Really? Ya hear that Laur? A riot.” Halsey said and Lauren just sighed, letting herself back onto her pillow.
“What for?” Lauren drawled. Halsey relayed it through the door and Lauren heard a muffled reply.
“Protesting. Against police brutality, remember that news story from the other week?” Halsey said, her eyes lighting up.
“Good for them. If I wasn’t in here I’d be doing something.” Lauren muttered, closing her eyes and tucking her hands under her head. “No wonder my lawyer’s busy at the moment.”
Halsey stumbled back from the door with a yelp that made Lauren look up again.
“Oh hey Beckett, whatcha need?” Lauren said with a grin at the guard standing at the door.
“Got word from Hansen, apparently the protests are keeping you in business for now.” Beckett said, brushing a loose hair out of her face, glancing down towards the yelling every few seconds. “They’re after orders on what to do next.”
“They need to keep an eye on Healy for me. I wanna know what he’s up to during these protests. Oh and tell ‘em to visit me soon.” Lauren said quietly. Beckett nodded and stepped away from the bars when there was a loud yell from the end of the hallway.
“I’ve gotta go. But keep safe yeah? This might get rough.” Beckett said before jogging towards the yard.
“Can’t believe you’ve already got a guard on your payroll. Took Eilish months.”
“Yeah well she’s barely legal and doesn’t have the mind for business.” Lauren waved Halsey off with a scoff.
“You’re like five years older than her.” Halsey laughed.
“And at least I didn’t get busted before I’d hit puberty.”
“I can hear you, ya know!” Lauren winced and mumbled an apology that earned another middle finger that had Halsey snickering.
“You really think you can keep your business alive from in here?” Halsey asked, lying down on the bunk below Lauren.
“I built up quite a following before I got busted. And a reputation for being firm but fair.” Lauren mused. “My people can handle themselves.”
“Against Matt Healy? Really? He’s ruthless.” Halsey muttered, concern coming off her in waves as Lauren leaned over the edge to look at her.
“No. His father was ruthless. Matt is just a wannabe mafia boy with daddy issues and anger issues.” Lauren said with a grin.
“Careful, he might hear you.”
“Like he can hold a conversation with a girl long enough to get any informants in here.” Lauren snorted. Halsey didn’t seem to find it as funny.
“I’m serious Laur. Be careful.”
Lauren scoffed and lied back on her bed, staring up at the blank ceiling, wondering how long these 18 months were going to drag.
Camila had shown Ally the business card which she had immediately written off.
“Come on Mila, a PI service finds you the day of your resignation, I find that hard to believe. It’s probably Jauregui’s people trying to turn you or kill you.” Ally said, folding her arms with a raised eyebrow.
“I think you’re being paranoid.” Camila replied, pacing in front of the TV, flipping the card between her fingers.
“And if I’m not?”
“Then I’ll be found floating down the East River with teeth missing and a bullet wound in my forehead.” Camila muttered with a dark grin.
“Not funny Mila.” Ally sighed, leaning back on the sofa and settling her hands on the cushions beneath her.
“I’m kidding. They’d have to be suicidal to approach me in a cop bar of all places. If anything went wrong they’d be able to locate them so fast.” Camila pointed out. “No, I think it’s legit.”
“This is perfect, we can still do what we love; hunting down bad guys!” Camila pleaded, kneeling in front of the coffee table.
“And when those bad guys are just people cheating on each other and false suspicions? PI’s don’t hunt down serial killers or gang leaders. They help expose cheating spouses and other stupid liars.” Ally sighed. “It’s not the same as being a detective.”
“So? At least we’d be helping someone.” Camila snapped. Ally raised her hands and tilted her head.
“Alright. That I understand. But really Mila? PI?”
“I don’t want to do anything else but being a cop wasn’t what I thought it was.” Camila rested her head on the table and took a deep breath. “I just want to help people. And this is all I know how to do Als.”
“Firefighters help people.”
“True… but I’d rather not be stuck in another academy so soon.” Camila mumbled.
“I’ll come with you.” Ally finally said, making Camila look up quickly. “Only to make sure you don’t get your ass murdered.”
Camila was definitely about to get them both murdered.
They stood in front of a shady looking building, windows surprisingly clean with the words BB Investigations printed on them. There were people watching them, curiously looking at the two newcomers.
“Sure about this?” Ally asked shakily. Camila gulped before setting her shoulders back and striding up to the door, pushing it open and trying to ignore the groan it emitted.
She walked up to a small reception area and waited for the woman at the desk to look up. Camila paused as she recognised the woman from the bar.
“Oh hey there, can I help you?” She asked.
“You slipped this into my pocket last night at Shaw’s bar.” Camila said, sliding the business card across the desk.
“Ah right.. I’ll get the boss.” The woman muttered before knocking on the door behind her. “Yo, Bear, visitors.”
The door swung open a tall, slightly scrawny guy absolutely covered in tattoos leaned against the doorframe and rubbed his eyes.
“Oh, you. Right. Camila Cabello, the woman who brought down Lauren Jauregui.” He said before yawning. “Sorry, it’s just really early.”
“It’s ten am.” Ally piped up.
“And I was out until six am following some creep.” He replied with a scowl.
“Who are you? And why give me that?” Camila asked, pointing at the card still sat on the desk.
“My name’s Matt Musto but everyone calls me blackbear. And I heard through the grapevine that you’d resigned. I’m always looking for new partners.” Blackbear shrugged.
“New partners, funny. Like they’ve ever said yes.” The woman at the desk said under her breath.
“Becky, shut up.” Blackbear replied easily. “We can discuss the details in my office if you’re interested in the job?”
“Only condition I have is that Ally works with me. We’ve had each other’s backs since the start.” Camila said with a grin at Ally. Blackbear nodded once before stepping into his office and gesturing them in.
The door closed behind them and they sat across from Blackbear, who collapsed in a creaky old chair on the other side of the desk.
“You two are the ones who brought down Jauregui, anyone worth their money knows how impressive that is.” Blackbear started.
“Mila was the one who did that. I just tagged along.” Ally waved him off easily.
“Support in your ventures is always needed, no matter what you’re aiming for. Having someone in your corner really keeps it all together.” Blackbear pointed out. “Having someone who keeps you on track and helping you out is just as important.”
“I couldn’t have done it without Als, a couple of times I would’ve probably given up, or gone way off base and done something highly illegal.” Camila snorted as Ally rolled her eyes.
“How’s this work then?” Ally asked, looking back at Blackbear in curiosity.
“Usually a lot of sitting on your ass.”
The three of them stared at the closed door and Blackbear sighed.
“Becky! Eavesdropping, what have I told you?” He said loudly. Becky pressed her hand up to the frosted window and flipped her off. “She’s not wrong though.”
“But we get to help people right? Like this isn’t some cop out that revolves around keeping you drunk like those fuckin’ TV shows?” Camila said, leaning forward in her chair.
“I mean I do like drinking but never on the job. Unless of course it’s needed to keep a cover.” Blackbear mused. “But yes, I help people. Even if it's mostly cheating a-holes.”
“Opinion on the BLM movement?” Camila said cautiously.
“Oh me and Becky were out in the middle of it, believe we spent a night down in the 66th precinct.”
“96th!” Becky’s muffled correction made him smile.
“Yeah, we’re not like cop- um… we’re not discriminatory here.” Blackbear coughed and shot them an awkward smile.
“I’m down for it. Ally?” Camila turned to her partner with a grin. Ally sighed and rubbed her forehead.
“Well I need to pay rent and this kinda fell in my lap… so sure. Sounds good.” Ally agreed with a crooked smile.
“Awesome. Becks! Pull up the paperwork!”
Lauren knew that ringing her dad was risky, more so for him since he was the one using a mobile.
It also rung for a lot longer than usual.
“Lauren.” She took a steadying breath at her father’s gruff voice.
“Hey dad. How’ve you been?” She asked, trying to keep her voice even.
“I was doing well up until my youngest tells me my successor is currently sitting in prison.” He said bluntly. Lauren winced and leant against the wall next to the phone.
“I know. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you but-”
“Laur, how the hell did this happen?”
“It was that cop, Cabello. She’s had it out for me for months. She found some stupid loophole.” Lauren grumbled. “But it’s okay, I’ve got everything under control.”
“Don’t tell me you left your brother in charge.” Mike groaned.
“Do you think I’m stupid? No. I’m running shit from the inside.” Lauren scoffed.
“Was that a smart move?”
“It’s the only one I had. It was try this or let it blow up and let Healy poach all my connections.” Lauren sighed. “There was no warning; I didn’t have time. D and Mani are keeping it running until things become more streamlined.”
“With my life.” Lauren replied instantly. “Look, I built my own reputation these last few months. No one messes with me. And I’m sure there’s muttering of me running things from inside, which just reinforces that rep dad. You left me in charge for a reason dad.”
“That I did.” He murmured. “Try to lay low and just make it through your sentence. Don’t give them any ammo to add more time.”
“I will dad.”
“I’m proud of you Laur.”
“Thanks dad.” Lauren whispered, smiling gratefully when he started rambling about his own troubles.
One Week Later
Camila had officially seen more paperwork in the past seven days than her entire six months as an officer. Which in itself was impressive.
Ally had taken to saying “I told you so” everytime Camila so much as sighed.
They were the newbies to the world of Private Investigating; Blackbear had made it clear that they’d be known as Junior PI’s until their licenses came through and for now would be working on an unofficial status until then.
Which was code for being glorified interns for the foreseeable future.
Honestly Camila was low-key thankful for the change in pace. After three weeks on the front lines against the protests, she was happy to be sat behind a desk, watching the protests march past the window every few days.
Her relative calmness changed one morning.
Her and Ally had stopped to get coffee for the four of them before coming into work, meaning they weren’t around for Blackbear’s 9am meeting. They’d only been PI’s for a week and already their curiosity was getting the better of them.
“What they look like?” Ally asked Becky quietly as they dropped off the coffee.
“Young. I’d say a minor.” Becky whispered.
“So not your average client?” Camila mused as she kicked her feet up on her desk. They’d moved in two small desks near Becky’s once the contracts had been worked out.
“Minor’s tend to come in to find their estranged parents. Usually orphans.” Becky shrugged.
“They fit the bill?”
“With a Gucci belt and jacket so expensive it costs more than our rent? Fuck no.” Becky snorted and sipped on her coffee. “That girl screamed money.”
“Rich foster parents?” Camila suggested.
“Rich something that’s for sure. She looked pretty damn worried though. Probably just wants us to tail a boyfriend or girlfriend for her.” Becky tapped away at her computer with an uninterested smile.
Half an hour later and the office door creaked open. Blackbear waved over to Camila and motioned for her to come into the office. Camila frowned but followed him into the office anyway.
“I think you know our newest client.” Blackbear muttered.
Camila’s eyes widened at the young teenager sitting in front of the desk, a wary smile on her face.
“Uh yeah.” Camila swallowed. She reached out her hand with a small smile. “Don’t think we’ve formally met Taylor.”
Taylor stared at the outstretched hand and shook it cautiously.
“Well you are the reason my dad and sister are in prison.” She said bluntly and Camila winced.
Blackbear cleared his throat and nodded towards the chair next to Taylor vaguely aggressively. Camila sat down quickly and tried not to stare at Taylor.
“Ms. Jauregui wants our help.”
Camila traipsed after Taylor as she left the office. As Taylor spoke to Becky about payment details, Camila glanced over at Ally who was watching her with wide eyes and her jaw dropped.
It wasn’t until Taylor left that Ally broke and all but jumped over her desk to grab Camila by the shoulders.
“Was that Taylor Jauregui?!” Camila nodded and let out a deep groan.
“And I’ve just been hired to bring down the Jauregui business.”
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Chapter 13: Help me, or else...
Camila learns more about her new job and Lauren gets the chance to see her favourite cop for the first time since being arrested
I'll admit that my update schedule is not as good as I'd like but I am liking how this story is progressing
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Camila was in shock. She had been staring at her cork board for hours, ever since she’d got home from the office.
Taylor Jauregui wants her help in bringing down her own sister. Camila was legitimately confused.
She hadn’t touched the board in a month. A month had already passed and Camila had added nothing. But she also hadn’t removed anything.
She tried to convince herself it was because she hadn’t had a new case because of the protests but it wasn’t. A part of her didn’t want to pack away the case that had consumed her for the past six months.
So here she stood, a bottle of rum in one hand and her phone in the other.
It’d be so easy to check up on her through her old Sergeant. Santiago wouldn’t hesitate to get back to her. Pros of leaving your job on good terms with everyone.
What she didn’t understand is why the fuck the junior Jauregui wanted her help?
Blackbear, who refused to go by Matt due to the bad reputation Matt Healy had put upon those called Matt, had quietly told Camila that Taylor had requested her specifically to handle the case.
Camila groaned and chugged some rum, wincing at the burn in her throat. Now she had to figure out how to take down the Jauregui crime family without the resources of the NYPD.
There was a knock at her door and she ambled over to it, yanking it open without thinking.
“Uh…” Camila blanked as she stared at Taylor Jauregui on her doorstep, a hood pulled up over her face.
“Let me in?” Camila stepped aside and let her into her apartment, staring at the empty hallway for an extra beat before closing her door.
“What’re you doing here?”
“We didn’t get to talk about the case.” Taylor hummed, glancing around the apartment curiously.
“Could’ve booked a meeting with me at the office.” Camila sighed, rubbing her temple and moving to her kitchen.
“That’s a bit tricky since I am a high school student. I don’t have much free time outside of studying these days.” Taylor huffed.
“Fine. Let’s talk.” Camila said, putting her half drunk rum and coke in the fridge with a wistful look. She walked back into the living room and gestured to the sofa. “What do you need from me?”
“Laur’s power trip has got out of hand.” Taylor muttered. “I’m sure you heard that she’s challenged Matt Healy.”
“She wants to expand into his territory. Like I said, the power’s gone to her head. And you need to stop her.” Taylor said with a tight smile.
“Why me? Why not go to the cops? I know some people at the 99 who would be happy to help.” Camila replied and began pacing in front of the sofa as Taylor leaned back into the cushions.
“Cops have to follow set rules. And they’ve kind of got their hands full at the moment.” Taylor shrugged. “Look, as much as I don’t like you… you’re kind of my only choice right now.”
“I don’t know… this seems… unorthodox.” Camila said carefully.
“Lauren’s gonna get herself killed Cabello.” Taylor said sharply, standing up and narrowing her eyes. “And if she does, I’ll be blaming you. And when I hit 18 I’ll takeover the business from whichever Jauregui Senior is running it, and I will hunt you down and make you pay.”
Camila gulped. Suddenly Lauren didn’t seem so bad.
“Noted. So you want me to dismantle her operation before Matt can?” Camila squeaked.
“If he gets to Laur first, he’ll kill her. If you do, she lives… even if she is in prison for a lot longer.” Taylor rolled her shoulders and pulled the hood closer to her face. “Don’t fuck this up Cabello.”
And with that she left the apartment.
Camila stared at the now empty sofa before letting out a deep sigh.
“Where the fuck is my drink?”
When Beckett came to find Lauren in the break room, Lauren was expecting an update on Dinah and Normani. What she was not expecting was to be told a visitor had come to see her.
Lauren was already twitchy that her right hand women hadn’t come to visit her yet, and now she had to deal with some random person who was most likely a reporter? Fuck that.
Yet as she was led down the corridors to the visitors room, Lauren couldn’t help but wonder who was actually waiting for her.
So imagine her surprise when she’s let into the room and is faced with Camila Cabello.
“Well this is a surprise.” Lauren said, folding her arms across her chest.
“Orange suits you Jauregui.” Camila replied, leaning back in her chair slightly.
“Everything suits me. Figured you would’ve stopped by by now Cabello. Ya know, since I’m sure your next life goal is to get me a bigger sentence.” Lauren said, pulling out the chair across from her and sitting down with a sigh.
“Been busy.” Camila clenched her jaw.
“Oh yeah? Surprising, figured cops just sit around with their thumb up their asses these days.” Lauren shot back with an eyebrow raise.
“Surely you’ve seen the news? Protests across the world? Black lives matter?” Camila said with a frown. Lauren nodded and glanced at the file sitting on the table between them.
“What’s all this about then?” Lauren asked with a stretch, her arms going up over her head as Camila opened her file.
“I want to know everything about your organisation. Who’s on your payroll, who runs what, and who is looking to take over.” Camila said, her face completely serious and blank.
Lauren burst into laughter.
“Are you kidding? Like I’m just gonna tell the law how to bring down my family business. Really had me going for a second there Cabello.” Lauren snickered, wiping at the stray tear from her eye. She looked at Camila who hadn’t moved an inch. “Wait you’re serious?”
“You have to realise I’m not going to do that right? Nothing short of a miracle is going to get me to tell you anything.” Lauren said with a smirk. Camila pursed her lips and looked down at her file, flipping through it briefly.
“I already know enough to get some low level dealers and gunrunners off the streets. I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to flip them.” Camila mused.
“Where’s your uniform?” Lauren asked, ignoring Camila. “I really loved that tie.”
“Not a cop anymore.” Camila replied, not looking up from her file
“What?” Lauren sat up straight and blinked at Camila.
“I quit. I’m a PI now.” Camila glanced up and shot her a smile. “So I’m going to come back every day, since I still have a few friends in the force, and I’m going to ask you the same shit.”
“Can you wear a tie anyway?” Lauren mused, once again ignoring Camila’s remarks.
“I’m really not going to tell you anything. Loyalty is key amongst the Jauregui’s.” Lauren said quietly.
“Then you better get used to seeing my face.” Camila said, closing the file with a grin.
“17 months left Cabello, really gonna visit me every single day? Nearly 520 days of this? Maybe I’ve underestimated you.” Lauren chuckled and tapped her fingers on the table.
“Clearly. Not to mention all the investigating I can be doing while you’re stuck in here doing nothing but avoiding the showers.” Camila shot back.
“Who you working for now? Maybe I know them.”
“Doubt it.” Camila hummed.
“Actually don’t tell me. I’ll figure it out myself, it’ll give me something to do.” Lauren waved her off before leaning on the table. “So how long you gonna stay? I’ve already told you no.”
“You’re right, maybe I should-” A knock at the door made Camila stop and look over her shoulder. Lauren leaned back in her chair as a guard made his way in and whispered something to Camila. “Looks like I have to go anyway. You’ve got more visitors.”
Lauren frowned as Camila stood up and gathered up her file.
“Just my luck. A pretty girl comes to visit and has to leave early.” Lauren sighed. Camila rolled her eyes.
“See you tomorrow Jauregui.” She muttered before making her way out of the room.
Lauren kicked her feet up on the table and leaned back in her chair.
She’d barely been alone for a minute before Dinah and Normani barrelled their way into the room.
“Sup boss.” Dinah said with a grin.
“Took you two long enough. I’ve been here a month.” Lauren grumbled, her lips twitching to contain a smile.
“The world’s going to shit out there Laur, lord knows I’ve been almost arrested every day for supposedly being a protestor.” Normani huffed, crossing her arms with a scowl.
“Shit, Mani… maybe we need some extra help.” Lauren said, moving her feet off the table and leaning forward.
“I can handle myself Laur.”
“You’re not the only black person in my organisation Mani. I can’t have them being busted on even more bullshit charges than usual.” Lauren pointed out quietly. “People can only be arrested so many times before that snitch deal starts to look good.”
“Ralph, relax, no one’s gonna flip.” Dinah said firmly. “Our reputation precedes.”
“And I don’t want that reputation becoming the Jauregui’s don’t care about the minorities.” Lauren said, her fingers tapping out a rhythm on the table quietly.
“Wouldn’t they? This is the world of cancelling people D, I can’t have my mum’s business suffering because of this either. The name Jauregui is both illegal and legal, we’ve got to keep everything in order.” Lauren groaned, pinching the bridge of her nose.
“Saw that cop Cabello leaving as we came in, what she want?”
“She’s not a cop anymore. Someone’s hired her to take me down.” Lauren muttered. Dinah and Normani exchanged a glance.
“Want us to find out who?”
“For now, no. We’ve got bigger things to worry about than some second-rate PI butting into our business.” Lauren sighed. “We need to keep our people safe. I’m thinking private security.”
“Who though?” Normani asked, already making a mental list.
“Can’t be run by some white guy. In fact, I think I already know someone. Valentina Carvajal; based out of the city, half mexican, half Argentinian, total badass. She’ll know how to handle the situation.” Lauren said with a grin. “Trust me.”
“We always do boss.” Dinah said with a nod.
hmu on tumblr @alexdoeswriting + Firebird_18
Chapter 14: 1 day down, 516 to go
Things are definitely gonna be slow on the whole update front (like they weren't already) cos I'm back at uni and everything's tits up atm. So bear with me
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Don’t you get bored of this whole routine?” Lauren sighed, kicking her feet up on the table and leaning back on her chair.
“This is only the second day Jauregui.” Camila muttered, flipping through an open file.
“And you are yet to ask me anything.” Lauren said with a stretch. “So come on, maybe I’ll entertain you.”
“Why were Hansen and Kordei heading over to Manhattan this morning?” Camila said suddenly, looking up from her file with a blank face.
“Probably visiting Lucy.”
“She’s here.” Camila replied, tilting her head with a small smile playing at her lips. “Saw her on my way in.”
“Luce is here?” Lauren felt her heart jump as her chair wobbled and she fell forward into the table.
“Mhmm. So where were your friends off to?
“I don’t know.”
“You’re a Jauregui.” Camila mused. “You guys run the tightest ship this side of the country. I find it hard to believe you’ve not got a single guard on your payroll already. In fact all I probably have to do is ask around.”
“Okay maybe you’re not that far off but as far as I know, my orders were to hold down the fort in Brooklyn.” Lauren said, folding her arms across her chest. Camila narrowed her eyes at Lauren, tapping her finger against the table before folding up her file and standing up.
“I’ll see you tomorrow Jauregui. Maybe you’ll have more to tell me by then.”
“Unlikely sweetheart.” Lauren mumbled as Camila was let out by Beckett; Lauren nodded at her guard.
Lauren was about to knock on the glass for Beckett when the door opened.
“Lucy. What’re you doing here?” Lauren asked with a smile. “Not that I’m complaining.”
“I was up here for another case, figured I’d come say hi.” Lucy replied, sitting across from her with a small smile. “That cop bothering you?”
“Oh no, she’s a PI now.” Lauren said with a shrug.
“A PI? And she’s still investigating?”
“Someone probably hired her, doesn’t matter for now.” Lauren waved it off easily and watched Lucy as she relaxed again. “How’s my family doing?”
“They’re good. I think Tay’s coming to visit you after school lets out.” Lucy hummed. “Chris has surprisingly stayed out of trouble.”
“That’s a first.” Lauren snorted. They fell into a comfortable silence, Lucy’s hands reaching for Lauren’s across the table.
“We have to talk about it Luce.” Lauren mumbled. “It’s been driving me crazy.”
“It was my fault. I- I shouldn’t have kissed you.” Lucy sighed, her eyebrows furrowing.
“I’m not saying it was a bad thing-”
“I shouldn’t have. We’ve been here before Laur.”
“We were kids.” Lauren argued.
“I was in law school Laur.”
“And I was busy breaking the law, what’s your point? We’ve grown up Luce.” Lauren huffed.
“Look, I shouldn’t have kissed you.” Lucy said firmly.
“And why not?” Lauren asked with a scowl.
“Because I have a girlfriend.” Lucy snapped, her eyes widening the second after it left her lips.
Lauren felt her face fall slack, her hands instantly moving off the table and into her lap.
“I… I have a girlfriend. Who I love. But you- I- it was a moment of weakness.” Lucy stammered.
“Then why did you kiss me?” Lauren asked, her jaw clenched.
“I don’t know. You were going to prison and I couldn’t stop it. I just… I got emotional.” Lucy muttered with a sigh.
“Luce… it’s okay.” Lauren said with a soft smile.
“I get it. I really do. And you’re right; me and you, we didn’t work out. And I will forever be grateful for your friendship. Nothing’s gonna ruin that.” Lauren said firmly.
“I.. me too Laur.” Lucy said with a smile.
“But you do need to tell your girlfriend.” Lauren said, raising an eyebrow and pursing her lips. “Or I’ll find out her number and tell her myself.”
“I know.” Lucy whispered.
The room fell silent before there was a knock on the door and Beckett walked in.
“Visitation’s over Jauregui. Let’s go.” Lauren nodded and stood up.
“Good luck Luce.” She said brightly, dragging her hand over Lucy’s shoulder as she passed her.
“They’re up to something. I can feel it.” Camila said as she got into her car. Ally looked up from her phone at the slam of the door.
“I had Becky tail them. They stopped outside some fancy high rise; too many businesses to pick from.” Ally ran her hand through her hair as Camila started the car.
“Looks like a day trip to Manhattan then.” Camila groaned and pulled out of the prison parking lot.
“Are you really going to visit her everyday?” Ally asked. They’d been driving in silence for the past twenty minutes and the traffic was playing havoc on Camila’s patience.
“Yep. Until she gives me her main suppliers or slips up enough to reveal how she’s fucking doing it all.” Camila growled quietly. Ally nodded, staring out her window for a second.
“And if she doesn’t? And you’ve wasted 18 months on her?” Ally asked cautiously.
“Then I’ll know her better than anyone and I’ll go tell the 99 everything I know.” Camila replied with a grimace.
“So you’ll drop the case? Taylor won’t pay, and the Jauregui’s have got some serious cash. You know blackbear would go batshit right?”
“Then he’ll either fire me or get over it.” Camila huffed. “It’s not like I’m only taking this one case in the entire 18 months. It’s more like a background project.”
“Well Becky said we’ve got a meeting tomorrow with some woman; thinks her boyfriend’s cheating.”
“She say that?”
“Becky said she had that look. And I trust her instincts, she’s been a PI’s secretary for too long to not recognise the people.” Ally laughed. She pointed to a building and Camila pulled to a stop outside it.
“I’ll go poke around. You keep the car running here.”
“Oh no missy.” Ally said, scrambling out the car before Camila could. She leaned down and grinned. “I’m going to ask the questions. You sit here and do nothing.”
Camila protested but Ally ignored her and closed the door. She strolled into the building and checked out the business list at the back of the room.
There were a bunch of different law firms and financial specialists but one stood out; a private security firm.
Ally was about to walk up to the main reception desk when the elevator dinged and the two people she was after walked out, a third stunningly gorgeous woman with them.
“Fuck.” Ally mumbled, spinning on her heel and heading back out the door. “Keep your head down.” She hissed as she jumped back in the car.
“What did you do?” Camila squeaked.
“Nothing! They’re just coming behind me.” Ally rolled her eyes and gestured to the door as the three women walked out.
“Holy shit who is that?” Camila mumbled, her eyes wide.
“Oh you useless bisexual. I don’t know. But I do know that all the companies here are run by men. All the names on the board were just… so white and pretentious.” Ally shuddered.
“Well she is definitely not male, nor is she white and I’m really hoping she’s not pretentious ‘cause damn I wouldn’t mind being-” Camila muttered as they watched the three women stop by a black SUV.
“Not right now. Fuck that.” Camila whispered, reaching into the backseat for her camera and snapping a few shots of them.
Camila shoved the camera into Ally’s hands as Dinah and Normani got into the SUV, leaving the mystery woman on the pavement, waving them off. Camila scrambled to get out the car ignoring Ally’s parting comment.
“I swear to God if you hook up with a potential suspect…”
Camila wandered up to the building as the woman was walking back towards her. They collided at the doorway and Camila smiled.
“I am so sorry.” She gushed. “I didn’t see you.”
“Quite alright, I guess we were both lost in our thoughts.” The woman replied smoothly, her accent thoroughly leaving Camila speechless. “Were you here to see someone?”
Camila didn’t even realise that they’d both walked into the building now.
“Yeah, yes.” Camila glanced at the board above the reception desk. “I was hoping to get an audience with… Valentina Carvajal. Looking for some security, don’t suppose you know what floor they’re on?”
The woman chuckled and Camila felt herself swooning.
“I am Valentina and I have some free time now if you want to talk business?” Valentina replied with a smile as they reached the elevators.
“Sounds great, just let me text my partner.” Camila mumbled, pulling out her phone.
[12:04] Mila: you can take the car back to bb’s. I’ll get a cab back
[12:04] Als: you just want to flirt with her
[12:05] Mila: she owns the security firm!! It’s research
[12:05] Als: is that what the kids call it nowadays?
Camila rolled her eyes and shoved her phone back into her pocket, smiling at Valentina as the doors dinged open.
“I don’t believe I caught your name.” Valentina said as they walked.
“Shit, sorry. I’m Camila. Cabello.” She replied with an awkward laugh. Valentina grinned at her and they stopped in front of an office.
“Well then Ms. Cabello-”
“Please, just Camila.” Camila interrupted quietly.
“Camila, let’s see if Carvajal Security can help you.”
Ally looked up as the door swung open, putting down her pen and watching Camila intently as she entered.
“So,” Camila looked up startled, “you get her number?”
“For the case.” Camila rolled her eyes. “And let me tell you, that girl is fine as fuck.”
“I feel like she could kick your ass.” Ally mused. Camila shrugged and sat down at her desk.
“I’d let her.” Camila opened up her computer and sighed. “Anyway I think she’s working with the Jauregui’s; I asked her about her other clients and she mentioned Hansen.”
“Why would they need private security?”
“I don’t know. Maybe they need some extra muscle protecting a new haul? Valentina didn’t strike me as the kind to be okay with illegal activity though.” Camila mused, twirling a pencil between her fingers.
“Maybe they didn’t tell her?” Ally frowned.
“You don’t lie to security. They can fuck you up more than the gangs.” Camila shook her head and sighed.
“If you’re talking Jauregui, I hear a bunch of her people keep getting caught up in the protests.” Blackbear appeared from the break room with a cup of coffee.
“I mean yeah, as much as I hate it the cops see a person of colour out near any of the protests and they’re written up instantly.” Blackbear curled his lip.
“Dicks.” Ally mumbled.
“And word on the street is that quite a few of them have been part of Jauregui’s crew.”
“Anyone high ranking?” Camila asked.
“Kordei keeps popping up on the radar but I don’t think they’ve managed to put the cuffs on her yet.” Blackbear rolled his neck and pointed to his office. “I’m taking a nap before my 4 o’clock gets here. Becks should be back soon so just come kick me if I oversleep.”
Camila bit her lip to stifle a laugh as Blackbear wandered into his office.
“That man is something unique.” Ally muttered.
“Laur, your girl is here.” Halsey drawled from her bed. Lauren looked away from the ceiling and towards the open door, where Beckett was indeed standing. Lauren leaned against the wall next to her.
“Dinah called. Said that Carvajal was in.”
“She have any problems with it?” Lauren asked, her eyebrows rising in surprise.
“As long as her boys weren’t asked to be a part of or guard anything illegal, she’s good with helping you out.” Beckett glanced down the hallway before handing a small cloth package to Lauren. “Finally got a phone for you. It’s got Dinah, Normani and your brother on there.”
“Nice. Thanks, I assume Mani’s already sent you your payment?” Lauren said, fishing the phone out of the cloth and tucking it in the band of her pants, covering it quickly.
“Obviously. You run a tight ship Jauregui. Just make sure you don’t go down with it.” Beckett mumbled. Lauren scoffed.
“Please. I’m not going down anytime soon.” Lauren paused as Beckett grinned at her. “That came out wrong.”
It wasn’t until later, during her yard time that Lauren felt her phone vibrate. Halsey casually slid in front of her and kept watch.
“Mani got busted.”
“For?” Lauren sighed and rubbed her temple.
“Protesting apparently. Vives is already on her way to the 87th.” Dinah grumbled.
“Go back to see Valentina. I want her keeping an eye on my family… including you and Mani.” Lauren said quietly. “Her personally.”
“I can handle it boss.”
“I want extra security. This shit is about keeping you safe. Not just out of prison but alive.” Lauren snapped. “So call Valentina. I want her on the payroll personally. And if she objects send her over to me.”
“Understood.” Dinah muttered before hanging up.
Lauren tucked her phone away before glaring at the wall in front of her. She growled and lashed out, her knuckles connecting with the brick harshly.
“Laur…” Halsey muttered, pulling Lauren away from the wall and looking at her hand. “Take it easy.”
“I’m stuck in here Ash. Jack all I can do to help my family from in here.” Lauren grumbled.
“And you getting angry isn’t going to fix that. If anything Eilish is gonna rile you up easier and get you in trouble.” Halsey pointed out.
“I know. I know.” Lauren sighed, shaking out her hand and ignoring the scraps on her skin. “Only 17 months left.”
“Speak for yourself.”
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Chapter 15: A Symbiotic Relationship
Lauren and Camila start to realise just how much they need each other
or alternatively titled how Lauren and Camila realise they kind of need each other
I'm trying to keep updates fairly regular but my classes start next week so like fml
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
One month later
Camila was so used to taking her lunch break and driving up to Rikers that no one in the office batted an eye.
It’d been about 30 days of visiting, a month, a whole ass month and Camila was no closer to learning anything.
She’d taken to bringing some work with her to do while Lauren watched her from across the table.
Camila was also loath to say that sometimes she even helped.
“What is it today then Mila?” Lauren asked as Camila entered.
“Usual. Who’s your prison contact?”
“Shocked you haven’t got that one by yourself.” Lauren mused. Camila rolled her eyes.
“Who’s doing your gun running?”
“Who said I was gun running?” Lauren frowned briefly before it became a smirk.
“Doesn’t sound like me.”
“Pass. I don’t do drugs.” Lauren shrugged. Camila let out a long breath and let her tongue run over her teeth.
“You… are so frustrating Jauregui.”
“If you came around this side of the table I could show you how really frustrating I can be.” Lauren shot back, biting her lip with a grin. “And you can call me Lauren you know.”
“And you can’t call me Mila. That nickname is taken.” Camila replied absently as she opened her file.
Camila looked up quickly, blinking at Lauren who smirked. “Thought you might remember that one.”
“So if you’re a PI now… does that mean someone hired you to take me down? Or is this still about that coffee?” Lauren asked, leaning across the table with a grin.
“Yeah I got hired.” Camila murmured. Lauren looked at the pictures in the file.
“Wife’s cheating and he’s blackmailing the lover. So who hired you?”
“Already knew that. I just have to get proof. And none of your business.” Camila replied easily.
“It’s the definition of my business.” Lauren retorted. “I’d try that motel there.” Lauren added, leaning over to point at one of the photos; a glaring neon sign in the background.
“They wanted to remain anonymous.” Camila said with a frown as she picked up the photo.
“Then they must be stupid, I have ways of finding out.” Lauren scoffed, folding her arms over her chest. Camila glanced up at her with a small smile.
“Don’t throw a tantrum Jauregui. I’ll cuff your ‘ways’ before they even know what’s happening.” Camila mused.
“Please, you wouldn’t know them if they smacked you in the face.” Lauren replied.
“Oh so that guy was one of yours?” Camila rubbed her cheek thoughtfully.
“Someone hit you?” Lauren asked, her face becoming blank. Camila looked up at the sudden toneless voice.
“Uh yeah? Dude didn’t like being done for extortion.” Camila shrugged.
“What’s his name?” Lauren asked, her nose twitching with the effort of breathing evenly. Camila put down the papers and leaned her arms on the table.
“Are you… concerned?” Camila asked, a wide smile forming on her face.
“Please. For you? You wish.” Lauren scoffed. The room fell silent as Camila chuckled and went back to inspecting her file.
“His name was Jeffery Potters.” She muttered. Lauren nodded and made a mental note.
“For the record he was not one of mine. My people know better than to assault law enforcement, whether there’s a badge involved or not.” Lauren said quietly.
“The Jauregui’s are known for being polite I’m sure.”
“Oh you’d be surprised.” Lauren hummed. “Pretty sure we’ve got a good rep of being considerate. We don’t go out of our way for violence.”
Camila looked up at her in surprise, Lauren kept her eyes on the table between them.
“I only resort to violence in self defense. My people know to try and talk it out first, but if that doesn’t work… then they get to beat the shit out of people.” Lauren mused, before shaking her head and looking up at Camila. “One of the few rules of my dads that I kept.”
Camila stared at her for a beat too long before clearing her throat.
“I am sorry about your dad.”
“Look,” Lauren sighed and ran her hands through her hair. “You were right. It was only a matter of time before he got busted. That’s part of the risk of being a criminal.”
Camila blinked at her file, a smile tugging at her lips. She opened her mouth but was interrupted by the door opening.
“Time’s up guys.”
Camila smiled at the guard and packed up her file.
“Until tomorrow Jauregui.”
“See you Camz.”
“Beckett.” Lauren hissed as the lights went out down the hallway. She tapped her foot impatiently as a shadowy figure appeared at her cell doors.
“I’m about to leave Jauregui, what do you want?”
“Give Mani the name Jeffery Potters. He needs to learn some manners.” Lauren said lowly. Beckett nodded before wandering off and the night shift guards entered the block.
“Lights out Jauregui!”
Lauren flipped off the guard as they passed and slunk back into her bed.
“What was that about?” Halsey whispered.
“Don’t worry ‘bout it Ash. Just something that needs taking care of.”
To say Normani was confused, was putting it mildly.
When Beckett had rapped on her door and told her to find a Jeffery Potters with barely an explanation from Lauren’s side of things, Normani had assumed he was part of a rival gang.
He was just a Manhattan stock broker with too much money in his account and a larger portion being frozen by the police. He had zero connections with the Jauregui’s in any way, not even guilty of trying to fuck with Mama Jauregui’s legitimate business.
Her phone was in her hand before she could think and her thumb hovered over the unsaved number in her recents.
Lauren had said emergencies only for phone calls.
Normani shrugged and pocketed her phone, instead grabbing the car keys and starting the drive over to Manhattan.
Jeffery Potters was the most boring man on the planet.
Normani had found him on his break and kept an eye on him. She wasn’t stupid enough to give him a beat down in broad daylight but god lord she was tempted to just to make his boring ass more interesting.
He worked. And had meetings in high-brow restaurants. There was one meeting in an alleyway for what she believed was a drug deal. But other than that one brief encounter, all she’d done was sit in the SUV and munch on snacks.
The phone rang through the bluetooth system and she answered it, her seat reclined and her eyes spacing out looking at the roof of the car.
“Mani, where are you? We had dinner plans for 7.”
“Oh fuck babe. Oh shit. I am so sorry.” Normani sat up straight suddenly and grimaced. “Laur asked for a favour.”
“You teaching someone a lesson?”
“I will be when his boring ass leaves work.” Normani grumbled. Dinah snorted and she could hear a door opening and closing.
“Tell me where you are and I’ll come and keep you company.”
“I’m outside one of the financial buildings up in Manhattan. I don’t even know at this point. Just drive down wall street.” Normani groaned with a sigh.
“I’m getting a cab for starters babe. But alright, I’ll see you soon.”
Normani settled back into her seat with a smile on her face; her and Dinah hadn’t been dating long but they’d been friends for years. Lauren had always teased her about her crush on Dinah but Normani had been adamant that it was non-existent.
The thought of Lauren made Normani’s smile droop. They hadn’t told her yet. Everything had happened so quickly when Lauren was arrested and then a few days later they started dating.
Then with all the protests and spending a few days over at the 87th precinct’s lock up, the whole telling Lauren thing just kind of taken a back seat.
Normani had no idea how long it was until Dinah was opening the passenger door and slipping inside the SUV, a gentle kiss placed on her lips when she turned her head.
“Hey. He’s still in there.” Normani said around a small yawn.
“Got a picture?” Dinah asked and Normani pointed to a sheet of paper on the dashboard. Dinah picked it up and scanned over it. “What’s Laur’s interest in this knob? He’s just a dick.”
“No clue.” Normani replied. “And I wasn’t gonna ask.”
“Fair play- wait.” Dinah stared at the bottom of the page harder. “Says here someone busted him on extortion last week.”
“What?” Normani leaned over and sure enough one of the last details was a recent extortion charge over at the 99th precinct. “Who though?”
“BB Investigations.” Dinah murmured, pulling out her phone and googling the name. “Some guy, Matthew Musto; a PI.”
Normani paused and glanced up at Dinah.
“You don’t think… that cop, uh, Cabello, works for him now? Didn’t Laur say she was some half-ass PI now?”
“This doesn’t exactly scream half-ass. This guy’s a wall street man, which means she must’ve had some damn solid proof for the charge to actually go through.” Dinah said with a low whistle.
“You think Lauser’s in over her head?”
“I dunno but we should probably check this place out after we’ve dealt with Mr. Potters here.” Dinah replied, nodding towards the door that had just swung open, the man in question stepping out, staring down at his phone. “Here or his house?”
“His place. His wife left him a couple weeks ago, so he’s alone.” Normani said, starting up the car and waiting for him to flag down a cab.
They started tailing him and Dinah frowned.
“If Laur didn’t give you a reason then how are we supposed to know what we’re teaching him not to do?”
“His wife filed a restraining order.” Normani said, fumbling in the car door to pull out another sheet of paper. “Cops are about to charge him with domestic abuse. I’m gonna guess Laur got wind of him being a major misogynistic wife beater somehow.”
“Ooh, my favourite type of shithead to beat up.” Dinah said with a grin.
“Let’s just hope this goes as planned before you get all fired up baby.”
Normani and Dinah finally stumbled into Normani’s apartment just after midnight. Normani sighed and winced at the broken skin on her knuckles and the bruise forming around one of her wrists.
“Can’t believe he put up so much of a fight.” Dinah mumbled as she dug around in the freezer, pulling out a few ice packs and pressing one to her temple with a sigh. She walked into the living room and pressed one to Normani’s thigh and handing her the last one.
“Thanks.” Normani pressed the cold pack to her wrist and a small smile came across her face. “We should’ve expected it from someone with his record.”
“God what a dick. I hope this shit was worth it.” Dinah said, collapsing on the sofa next to Normani with a groan.
“It was for Laur, of course it’ll be worth it.”
“Who did you tell bitch!”
Camila startled away from her computer when the door was slammed open. Ally leapt out of her seat, her hand sitting on the top of her holster.
“What?” Camila shook away her surprise and looked closer at the man now bearing down on her desk.
“Who the fuck did you tell? Huh? Figured it was my bitch of a wife but she wouldn’t fucking dare so it must’ve been you.” The man growled.
Camila glanced over to Becky who was already on the phone. She straightened her spine and focused on the man’s face before her eyes went wide.
His left eye was swollen shut, his right already turning black, his nose was crooked and haphazardly bandaged. There was a large, broad cut along one of his cheeks and a bruise blossoming on his jawline.
“Holy shit.” Camila muttered as she finally recognised Jeffery Potters. “Look man I dunno what you think I did but-”
“You told some psycho bitches that I hit you! And they came after me!” Jeffery roared.
“I didn’t tell anyone anything. And you sir, need to calm down and leave.” Camila said calmly.
He slammed his fist into the desk and leaned closer.
“Or fucking what?”
“Or else you’ll still be here when the cops show up.” Becky chirped from her desk with a surprisingly friendly smile.
Jeffery hesitated and looked around the office. When blackbear finally came out of his office, his shoulder holster clearly showing the large pistol hanging there, Jeffery hunched his shoulders, shoved some stuff of Camila’s desk and made his exit.
“Holy fuck. What did you do Mila?” Ally asked after the door had closed.
“I didn’t do anything.” Camila insisted, running her hand through her hair. It froze in its movement as Camila’s brain kicked in. “Oh fuck. Actually… oh god yeah I need to go.” Camila rambled, grabbing her jacket and keys before hurrying out.
“Damn, here’s to hoping she’ll be here to give the cops a statement.” Becky grumbled.
“Rikers is too far, so no, she won’t.” Ally sighed, shaking her head and sitting back down.
“Rikers? What she going to Rikers for? It’s not lunch yet.” Becky said with a frown.
“She told Jauregui that she got hit. I expect her girls did that number on Mr. Potters there.” Ally said with a shrug.
“Damn… maybe we should make sure Jauregui likes us when she gets out.” Blackbear said with a grin.
“As long as Mila’s working here, we’ll be on her good side.”
Camila didn’t bother sitting down when she was shown into the room, instead paced back and forth in front of the table.
She looked up from the ground at the sound of Lauren’s voice.
Without thinking she rounded the table and slammed Lauren against the wall.
“What the fuck did you do?” Camila hissed as the guard pulled her off of Lauren. Lauren took a deep breath and adjusted her collar.
“Easy Beckett.” Lauren mumbled as Camila was forced to sit down at the table. “What are you on about Cabello?”
“You had your girls beat the shit out of a guy last night.” Camila growled. Lauren raised an eyebrow as Camila struggled against the firm hand on her shoulder.
“Beckett I think we’ll be okay.” Lauren said, pulling out her chair and slowly sitting down. Beckett clenched her jaw but left them alone. “He got what he deserved.”
“He was already going to be charged; his wife filed against him.” Camila said between deep breaths.
“And with his money I’m sure he’d get out of it with no jail time or any real repercussions.” Lauren said easily.
“How’d you know he was rich?”
“I helped you with that case Cabello.” Lauren raised her eyebrow slowly as Camila slouched in her chair.
“Fuck… I’m sorry about the whole… attacking you thing.” Camila muttered.
“Already moved on.” Lauren replied with a smile.
“And… I guess thank you.” Camila said through slightly gritted teeth. Lauren leaned forward on the table.
"What exactly for detective?”
“Teaching that douche a lesson… even if he hasn’t seemed to grasp it yet.” Camila chuckled. Lauren’s eyes narrowed.
“Hasn’t learned his lesson yet huh? Noted.”
“Lauren no.” Camila said bluntly. “You can’t have everyone you don’t like beaten up.”
“Yes, I can.”
“No, you can’t.” Camila huffed. “It’s illegal for starters.”
“And I’m already in prison Camz, can’t get much worse than this can it?” Lauren pointed out with a tight grin.
“Oh I’m sure it could. Wouldn’t want to be in here much longer than necessary right?” Camila replied, folding her arms over her chest with a glare.
“Is that a threat?” Lauren asked, a curious expression crossing her face.
“Do tell me when you actually threaten me, I’d love to have that image in my head.” Lauren said quietly, a smirk plastered across her features as she leaned further into the table.
“I’ve been told.” Lauren shrugged, leaning back with a sigh. “Can you do me a favour?”
“Why on Earth would I do you a favour?”
“‘Cause I’m hot and I might flash you?” Lauren said with a grin. Camila stared at her blankly, ignoring the blush blooming on her cheeks. “Fine, because I asked nicely.”
“I didn’t hear anything nice about it.” Camila said, an eyebrow raising and her lips pursing.
“Please can you do me a favour?” Lauren sighed.
“What I get in return.” Camila said before instantly regretting her choice of words at the downright sinful look that shadowed Lauren’s face. “Shut up, I meant information.”
“Sure you did.” Lauren purred. “But I guess I can give you a couple names to at least make it look like you’re trying for your clients sake.”
Camila rolled her eyes and leaned on the table.
“What’s this favour then?”
“I need to know what Matt Healy’s up to.” Lauren sighed. “No one can tell me what he’s doing. And finding shit out is kind of your job.”
“What do you need?”
“I just need to know if he’s planning anything elaborate at the moment. I’ve been putting out fires all over the place because of these protests. I don’t have the manpower to get a spy into his organisation.”
“Alright. I’ll see what I can dig up but I’m not making any promises.” Camila said after a moment of thinking it over.
Camila stood up and rolled her neck. “I’ll see you tomorrow Jauregui.”
“James Parker, Olivia DeRose.”
Camila turned as the door was opened for her.
“My end of the deal.” Lauren said with a shrug.
“But I haven’t come through yet.” Camila pointed out with a frown. Lauren stood up and bit her lip.
“Maybe I’ve got some faith in your skills Camz.” Lauren said before Beckett was leading her from the room.
Camila stood in the doorway with a heat in her cheeks and her brain running a mile a minute. She groaned and walked out into the hallway.
She refused to get butterflies around New York’s biggest crime lord.
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Chapter 16: Sorry about my lawyer
Camila starts to make progress in her case before Lucy gets in her way. A trip to see Lauren reveals that she's not as in control of her people as she first thought.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Ally sighed as she waited at Camila’s door. She’d knocked more times than really necessary and Ally was close to finding Camila’s spare key and letting herself in.
Which is exactly what she did.
Ally rolled her eyes at the cliche hiding spot, resting neatly on top of the door frame.
What she didn’t expect to see was Camila looking like she’d be anywhere else, and Taylor Jauregui pacing around Camila’s living room.
“Uh.. have I come at a bad time?” Ally spoke up when Taylor paused to breath.
“Ally!” Camila almost leaped over her kitchen counter and skidded to a stop next to her. “Thank god, save me.” She whispered.
“What’s going on?” Ally asked.
“What’s going on? What’s going on?” Taylor’s voice steadily got squeakier. “What’s going on here is Camila hasn’t done jackshit in dismantling my sister’s empire!”
“She’s been here for a hour.” Camila muttered before raising her voice. “And like I’ve already told you, it’s not easy to take down a city wide organisation.”
“She’s not even had a year Cabello! This shit is costing me a fortune!” Taylor wailed. Ally sighed and closed her eyes briefly.
“Everyone calm down, and let’s just talk about this.” She said calmly. Taylor huffed and crossed her arms. Camila shot Ally a grateful look before turning back to Taylor.
“I’m trying my hardest, trust me. Unfortunately no one’s willing to help me out from inside the organisation, so unless you know Lauren’s inner workings I’m kind of flying blind on this whole thing.” Camila said sharply. Taylor’s shoulders slumped and she sat down on Camila’s sofa.
Ally and Camila glanced at each other before carefully making their way over to the sofa.
“Is this really about how slow the case is?” Ally asked quietly.
“I went to see Laur the other day and she.. She was talking business with D and Mani, and it just… she’s not gonna stop.” Taylor sighed and buried her face in her hands. Ally tentatively placed a hand on her shoulder.
“We’re going to do our job Taylor, but we need longer than a couple of months. If we were still with the cops, it’d be easier. But we’re not so we need some leniency here.” Ally said softly.
“Alright.” Taylor conceded quietly, moving her hands into her lap with a sigh. “I’m sorry Camila.”
“It’s alright kiddo. Don’t worry about it.” Camila said with a smile. “Just let me do my job, I’ll keep you updated anytime something happens. Jauregui gave me some names yesterday morning, I’ll be running them up later.”
“Cool. Again, I’m sorry about ruining your morning. I’ll.. I’ll be going.” Taylor mumbled before making her way out of the apartment.
Ally let out a slow huff and a quiet chuckle before shaking her head.
“Well that was interesting.” She said, looking over at Camila who had lay down on the sofa with a groan.
“It’s tiring being yelled at by a teenager.” Camila whined.
“We gotta get to work if you don’t want it to happen again.” Ally laughed, dragging Camila off the sofa with a thud.
“Thanks for the heads up Mila.”
Camila grinned up at Rosa and leaned against her desk. Over in their waiting area sat two bruised and slight battered low-level gun runners.
“No problem. Trust me, it was my pleasure.” Camila replied, ignoring Ally who was wiggling her eyebrows at her behind Rosa. She reached over onto her desk for a small collection of files. “Here, everything you’ll need to keep them off the streets for a while.”
“Good to see that you haven’t lost your enthusiasm Mila.” Rosa snorted before her eyes widened and a scowl crossed her face.
“Hopefully one of these idiots wants to become a CI. I asked but got nothin’.” Camila huffed, folding her arms across her chest. Rosa bit back a smile and placed her hand on Camila’s arm.
“Don’t worry. I’ll get you some info.” Camila felt herself flushing and nodding as Rosa herded the two criminals out and into the patrol car on the street.
“God why don’t you two just date already?” Becky groaned, kicking her feet up on her desk.
“‘Cause Mila’s got the hots for Jauregui.” Ally said with a grin. Camila spluttered and collapsed into her desk chair.
“No surprise there. Lauren Jauregui is fuckin’ smoking.” Becky said with a hum and a smirk.
“It runs in the family trust me. Her brother; stunning man.” Ally agreed with a bright grin.
“Guys.” Camila huffed.
“No wonder Mila’s been going up to Rikers everyday, gas must cost a fortune with all that driving around. God I hope the woman’s a good kisser at least.”
“She-” Camila cut herself off suddenly and cleared her throat quietly. Luckily Ally and Becky were too busy teasing her to hear her almost agreement.
Camila shook her head and stared at her computer; she couldn’t even muster up the energy to defend herself. So what if her friends thought she liked Lauren, they were wrong and she knew that.
The door creaked open but Camila didn’t look up, not until the office had fallen oddly silent.
“Guys, what’s- oh.” Camila looked up and was surprised to see Dinah and Normani standing in the doorway.
Camila had to admit, they commanded respect; Dinah’s black leather jacket had definitely seen better days but the smart jeans tucked into steel-toed boots somehow made her look professional. Normani had gone with a more traditional suit with a blazer and shirt that unfortunately did nothing to hide the pistol at her belt.
“Huh, you.” Dinah said with a raised eyebrow.
“Uh, yep. Me.” Camila repeated with a frown.
“This is BB Investigations right?” Normani asked, chewing slowly on a piece of gum and glancing around the room.
“Yes, can I help you?” Becky said, moving her feet to the ground and smiling carefully.
“We noticed you guys arrested a Jeffery Potters the other day, we were just curious.” Dinah said, wandering around the room and glancing at the stuff on Camila’s desk.
“Don’t tell me,” Camila sighed, “you two beat the snot out of him.”
“How’d you know?” Normani looked at her with a grin.
“Came here yesterday. Made a scene.” Ally shrugged.
“Guess you know why Laur asked us to deal with him then.” Dinah mused, leaning against Camila’s desk with a knowing smile.
“Not a clue.” Camila shrugged.
“Did he mess with you?”
“He hit Mila when she got him arrested.” Ally piped up. Camila closed her eyes briefly and shot a glare over at Ally.
“No wonder, hell we’ve got orders to do it again, you must’ve really made an impression.” Normani said slyly. Camila narrowed her eyes at her and Dinah leaned down to her shoulder level and peered at her computer.
“Laur’s never been this protective of a one night stand before, you must be real special.” Dinah teased and Camila’s eyes grew wide, a hot blush flooding her face.
“Shut up, and get out.” Camila said quietly.
“Well, if we ever need a PI, we’ll be sure to come here.” Dinah said cheerfully before dragging Normani out the door.
“What just happened?” Ally asked with a frown.
“God they’re all going down.” Camila growled, leaning back in her chair and rubbing her eyes with the heel of her hands.
Could things get any worse?
Things got worse.
The two gun runners walked.
“Lucy fucking Vives.” Camila hissed as she slammed her phone down.
“She is a pain in my ass.” Camila closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “She got those two idiots off, uncharged but warned.”
“Jesus.” Ally blew out a breath and leaned back in her chair. “Is there anything that woman can’t do?”
“Fuck it, we might have to play dirty for this.” Camila groaned. Ally laughed before seeing the serious look on Camila’s face.
“We can’t. If we get done for playing dirty, nothing we do will ever stick. When it comes to the Jauregui’s this needs to be squeaky clean.” Ally said, her brow furrowing at Camila’s blank look.
“God damn it. I hate it when you’re right.” Camila grumbled. “How are we supposed to arrest people if Lucy gets them all off?”
“She what?” Blackbear blinked at them from the coffee machine.
“Shut up, you know what I meant.”
“How’s the Jauregui case coming?” He asked, downing his coffee and shaking his head.
“It’s not. We can’t get anyone to flip or get any charges to stick.” Ally groaned, flipping a pen around her fingers.
“Have you thought about… not doing it?” Blackbear suggested with a shrug.
“Taylor’s keeping the lights on Matty.” Becky mused with a scrunched nose. Blackbear let out a low whine and refilled his coffee.
“Sorry ladies, looks like you gotta keep it up.” He muttered before disappearing into his office.
“Fuck my life.” Camila tapped her fingers on her desk. “I might talk to those idiots again, try and get them to flip.”
“And if not?”
“Then we need to block out a week for some good ‘ole fashioned stakeout work.” Camila huffed.
2 weeks later
Lauren could barely focus on Camila’s words. She was too busy staring at the bruises on Camila’s knuckles.
“What’d you do to your hands?” Lauren asked, interrupting Camila’s rant on her current client’s ex-boyfriend.
Camila stopped and glanced down with a frown.
“Oh, went too hard with my work out.” Camila rubbed her knuckles and winced slightly. “Got frustrated by this dumb case.”
“You should be more careful.” Lauren muttered, her hands reaching across the table before suddenly stopping and falling to the cold metal, just shy of Camila’s file.
“Well if Lucy didn’t make my job so hard, I wouldn’t be so frustrated.” Camila sighed, running a hand through her hair.
“What?” Lauren frowned as Camila stood up and started pacing.
“She gets every single damn person out of the charges I slap them with. Even a stupid jaywalking ticket.” Camila complained. Lauren’s frown deepened.
“What? But… wait has she been getting all my guys off their charges?” Lauren asked, her jaw falling slack and her eyes widening.
“Uh yeah. Thought she was the family lawyer.” Camila paused in her pacing with a laugh.
“She is. But not the whole damn organisation. She looks after my mum, Tay and Chris. With the added bonus of D and Mani.” Lauren said before shaking her head. “Looks like I need to call her.”
“She could just be doing some pro-bono work.” Camila suggested as Lauren clenched her jaw.
“Luce doesn’t do pro-bono outside of the protests. She told me that last time she was here.” Lauren grumbled.
“Well give me a call afterwards, tell me if my case can actually make some progress once she’s gone.” Camila chuckled, stretching her arms over her head.
“Alright.” Lauren said, smiling at Camila’s newfound casualness; it’d only started happening in the last few days, but Camila had become more comfortable. Their daily meetings were no longer silent, with Camila working and Lauren watching her.
“Cool. But uh… for real, nothing’s been going very quick at the moment.” Camila sighed, sitting back down and resting her chin on her hand.
“So I take it that’s your not so subtle way of saying you don’t know what Healy’s up to?” Lauren said quietly with a grin.
“Oh no, Ally found him trying to keep his guys out of prison. These protests have really put a damper on everyone’s criminal plans.” Camila said with a wave of her hand.
“Thank God.” Lauren let out a breath and felt her shoulders relax.
“Time’s up ladies.” Beckett came in with a grimace and waited for Lauren to stand up.
“Until tomorrow Detective.”
“You now I’m not a detective right?” Camila asked, turning in her chair as Lauren walked past her.
“Yeah but PI doesn’t have the same ring.” Lauren shrugged with a wink as Beckett nudged her out the door.
Camila smiled down at her file before shaking her head and packing up.
She hadn’t realised she was still smiling until she got back to the office.
“What’re you smiling about Mila?” Ally murmured, peering up from her computer.
“Huh? I’m not smiling.” Camila raised an eyebrow and glanced over at her partner.
“Uh yeah, you kinda are. Something happen with Lauren?” Ally asked with a waggle of her eyebrows.
“Sure yeah, we made out with all the guards watching.” Camila rolled her eyes and dropped her bag onto her desk. “Shut up, no. I don’t like Jauregui.”
“Riiight.” Ally laughed under her breath as Camila’s phone rang.
“Cabello… yeah I accept.” Ally paused her typing and looked up at Camila. “Oh hey Lauren.”
“I’ve got Luce off your case. Turns out one of my dad’s friends was blackmailing her. So now I’ve gotta call my dad and bitch at him.”
“Wait really? Need me to do anything?” Camila said with a frown, reaching over to her keyboard and tapping away.
“Nah, I’ll deal with him. Don’t you worry your pretty little face Cabello.”
“Uh huh, right. At least tell me his name.”
“Nope. I don’t want you getting hurt if this goes sideways.”
“I can take care of myself Lauren.” Camila huffed and pushing away from her desk.
“I know. But this is my business, so I’ll handle it. You just worry about Tony Wilson, Johnny Price and Harper Pines. Consider them a 'sorry for my lawyer'.”
Camila wrote down the names and nodded, tapping her pen against the paper.
“Thanks. Just uh.. Be careful.” Camila muttered.
“Aw, worried about me Camz?” Lauren teased.
“You wish.” Camila scoffed before hanging up. She wasn’t about to give Lauren anymore chances to make her blush. It’d been happening way too much for her liking.
“And you don’t like her. Sure.” Ally piped up as Camila stared down at her phone.
Lauren groaned as she hung up the phone.
She’s officially ripped her dad a new one about not having any faith in her, successfully told Dinah to beat the crap out of the idiot her dad had hired, and told Normani to teach Jeffery Potters another lesson about respecting women.
She traipsed back to her cell with a yawn.
A thud at the end of the hallway had her turning around, her hands clenched into fists at her sides before someone shoved her into the wall. Lauren sprawled against the peeling paint and spun around.
Eilish and her cronies were standing before her.
“I’ve had a long day Billie. What do you want?”
“You need to stop. I run this place and I’ve put up with your stupid competition long enough.” Billie growled, cracking her knuckles and advancing slowly on Lauren.
“Don’t call me kid.” Billie snapped before she launched herself at Lauren.
There was no time to defend herself, no way to orientate herself after the first punch landed on her cheek.
Lauren was almost surprised it took two and a half months for her first attack.
When she was left against the wall, crumpled in on herself as Billie strolled on, Lauren couldn’t help but wonder why on Earth she thought she’d been invincible.
hmu on tumblr @alexdoeswriting + Wattpad @Firebird_18
Chapter 17: Uh oh... feelings
Guilt starts to build in Camila the longer she visits Lauren, and Dinah and Normani make an unusual decision.
Ngl I'm really enjoying writing this atm. And I suddenly realised this is gonna be super long if I don't do some time skips
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Four Months Later
Camila almost couldn’t believe that it’d been over six months. Six whole months of daily visitation with Lauren.
She frowned as the thought crossed her mind; since when did she start referring to her as Lauren and not Jauregui. Her eyes slipped shut briefly; probably around the time she’d realised Lauren was human, and not the spawn of Satan.
With that horrifying realisation that she’d actually grown to tolerate- no, she’d actually come to enjoy the felon’s company, Camila opened her eyes. Seconds later and the door rattled as it opened.
“Woah…” Camila’s eyes widened as Lauren was led into the room. She sat down with a wince and leaned her arms on the table. Her jumpsuit was ripped in a few places and her t-shirt’s white collar was stained a reddish-brown in spots.
“You should see the other guy.” Her voice hoarse and weak. She cleared her throat and cracked a smile at Camila.
“Lauren… who.. What happened?” Camila reached across the table and took Lauren’s hand in hers, checking over the bruises on Lauren’s skin.
“Who?” Camila insisted, looking up at Lauren’s eyes, noting the pale bruise around one of them.
“My competition doesn’t appreciate me selling to her best customers. It’s not a problem.” Lauren shrugged before groaning quietly.
“Seems like a problem if that black eye is anything to go by.” Camila muttered, leaning closer and brushing her thumb along Lauren’s eyebrow.
“Yeah well, like I said, you should see her.” Lauren muttered. “Besides, it’s not exactly the first time.”
“Wait… how long has this been going on?” Camila asked, blinking at Lauren and ignoring the tightness of her throat.
“I dunno, a while.” Lauren let herself lean into Camila’s touch. Camila slumped back into her chair and pursed her lips.
“Four months. It was just after all that stuff with Luce being blackmailed.” Lauren sighed.
“Why haven’t you done anything about it?” Camila whispered, her thumb brushing over the back of Lauren’s hand.
“Right, guards are so keen on breaking up every little fight they hear about. And besides it’s not like I can really fight back. I don’t want to be in here any longer than I have to be.” Lauren rested her head on her free hand and smiled tiredly at Camila. “I’m fine Camz.”
“No the fuck you’re not.” Camila said lowly, her teeth clenching together as she stared down at the table.
“Camila-” Lauren said, her eyebrows shooting up to her hairline.
“None of this is okay. And it’s my fuckin’ fault. I got so caught up in wanting to be good that I forgot prison is hell incarnate.” Camila snapped, she balled up her fists and winced at the slight pain from her blunt nails against her palms.
Lauren’s hands curled around Camila’s and slowly unfurled her fingers, pressing her fingertips onto Camila’s palms gently.
“You’re not the one who beat me up Camz.” Lauren said seriously. “I got here through my own actions. If I hadn’t been so careless in the last few years and had Luce make empty promises, I wouldn’t be here.”
Camila thought it over for a second before a small smile crossed her lips.
“Yeah you would, I’d have found another way to arrest you.” Camila muttered. Lauren rolled her eyes with a huff.
“Sure. But it doesn’t matter, the only person responsible for this is Billie.” Lauren reassured Camila, her fingers having unknowingly linked with Camila’s.
Camila on the other hand was painfully aware of what Lauren was doing; her heart was hammering at her ribcage and she was suddenly realising that Ally may have been right all along.
“Billie Eilish?” Camila asked, trying to ignore the crack in her voice.
“Yeah, she doesn’t like me encroaching on her business in here.” Lauren grumbled, shaking her head. “I’m kinda embarrassed at being beaten up by a teenager.”
Camila smiled at that.
“You should be.”
“Not my fault she’s got a never ending supply of shivs apparently.” Lauren pouted but quickly realised that was the wrong thing to say as Camila’s grip got tighter.
“I’m only gonna ask this once Lauren.” Camila said slowly. “Have you been stabbed?”
Lauren paused and shifted in her chair, she tried to extricate her hands but Camila’s grip tightened again.
“I will break your fingers.”
“Fine! Yes, I’ve been stabbed once!” Lauren yelped before seeing Camila’s narrowed eyes. “Twice… a handful of times.” She sighed. “No more than ten.”
“Fucking christ. Why is the first I’m even seeing this? I visit every damn day.” Camila snapped.
“I usually have time to clean up.” Lauren shrugged. “And Ash let’s me borrow some of her makeup when I need it.”
“I’m getting the warden involved.” Camila said bluntly. Lauren yanked their hands and Camila was pulled further over the table.
“You are not. If I get labelled a snitch things will get a thousand times worse.” Lauren muttered. Camila opened her mouth to retort but Lauren shot her look and she closed her mouth.
For once she’d let Lauren be right.
“God she drives me up the fucking wall!” Camila announced as she entered the office. Ally raised an eyebrow and turned in her chair, making Camila wince when she saw the phone pressed against her ear.
Camila busied herself and poured a coffee out before sitting at her desk with a groan.
There was a clatter as Ally hung up and a squeak of shoes as she wandered over to stand in front of Camila’s desk.
“Why are you surprised about this? She’s been doing that since you guys met.”
“No but this, oh this is different. Some bitch has been beating her up for the past four months.” Camila growled. “Four months!”
“Uh-” Ally frowned at Camila’s sudden passionate anger as she typed angrily on her computer.
“And she’s been hiding it from me! The audacity of this bitch! I cannot believe her.” Camila slammed the enter key and fumed as it loaded.
Ally was slightly shell shocked in front of her. She hadn’t seen Camila this angry since she’d first met Lauren. But now she was angry for her, not about her? This was a turn of events that Ally didn’t see coming.
As much as she teased Camila she didn’t actually expect her to catch feelings for the criminal.
The main door creaked open as Camila angrily read Billie Eilish’s police file (Rosa had been kind enough to commit a minor crime by letting the agency use the database).
Ally spun around and her surprise only grew.
Dinah and Normani were sheepishly walking into the building.
“So we kind of need a PI.” Dinah muttered.
Camila peered around Ally and huffed.
“Your boss is fucking stupid.” She stated before gesturing to the two chairs in front of her desk.
Ally moved around to stand behind Camila while Dinah and Normani took their seats. “How can we help?”
“We need you to help us get dirt on Matt Healy.” Dinah pursed her lips as Camila narrowed her eyes.
“You haven’t spoken to Lauren about this have you?” Dinah and Normani exchanged a glance.
“No. We haven’t.” Normani nodded. “We don’t want to worry her, but there’s mutterings that he’s trying to move in on our business partner’s turf.”
“Which area we talking here?” Ally asked. Dinah and Normani shared another glance before sighing.
“Diamonds. We’ve got someone who moves diamonds for us, we think Healy’s gonna poach him and or take him out.” Dinah grumbled.
“I’m gonna need the name of this guy.” Camila said, scribbling this down on a notepad.
“Can’t do that. You’ll find out soon enough anyway.” Normani shrugged. Camila rubbed at her temple.
“Got anything for me to work with? Meeting’s that Healy’s having? Anywhere I can start a tail on him?” Camila asked around a sigh.
“It’s alright. We’ll figure something out. Becky will draw up the paperwork for you.” Camila said, sending a grin towards Becky who rolled her eyes and started typing. “And you two better tell Lauren before I see her tomorrow or else I will.”
Dinah and Normani nodded and moved over to stand by Becky’s desk.
“Very professional of you.” Ally mumbled, leaning down and looking at the police profile still on Camila’s screen. “This who beat up Jauregui?”
“I can be professional.” Camila scoffed. “Yeah, she’s a piece of work and she hasn’t even left the teens yet.”
“You think they know?” Ally asked, they looked over at Dinah and Normani who were listening intently to Becky explaining their contract.
“They might. No one can really do anything though. If Lauren fights back she might get smacked with a longer sentence, and if I get involved she’ll be labelled a snitch and I expect the same will happen if those two try anything too.” Camila sighed. “As long as her family don’t know, that’s all that matters.”
“The Jauregui’s have definitely been through enough this year.” Ally agreed. They waved as Dinah and Normani exited the building.
“That was unexpected.” Becky chirped with a giggle. “God they’re fit though. Is everyone on Jauregui’s payroll that hot?”
Camila shot her an exasperated look before cringing.
Lauren was surprised when Beckett appeared at their cell door, an expectant look on her face.
“Someone’s popular today.” Halsey muttered from her bunk with a snicker.
Lauren rolled her eyes but followed Beckett out the cell and down the hall.
“Camz come back?”
“Nah, D and Mani are here. Something they want to tell you.” Beckett said with a smile over her shoulder. Lauren furrowed her eyebrows as she racked her brain for some sort of idea about what was so important they had to come in person.
Still she wasn’t unhappy to see them.
She slipped into her seat and instantly could tell they were nervous.
“‘Sup guys.” Lauren said with a grin, trying to make them feel less uneasy. It didn’t work if Dinah’s nervous gulp was any indication.
“We’ve got something to tell you.” Dinah’s voice shook and Lauren could feel a panic forming at the back of her throat.
“Oh God, it’s not mum is it? Tay? Chris? Fuck it’s not my dad is it?” Lauren said before Normani smiled and shook her head.
“Woah, no Laur, it’s not bad news. It’s just important.” Lauren let out a deep breath and relaxed in her chair again.
“Fucking hell start with that next time.” Lauren glared at Dinah briefly who guiltily smiled.
“We’re dating.” Normani blurted out before Dinah could say anything. Lauren paused and her eyes flicked between her two best friends before she broke out into a massive grin.
“Fucking finally.” She said with a loud laugh. “Dad owes me fifty bucks now! Ha! Fuck yes.”
Dinah’s jaw fell slack and Normani seemed to freeze.
“You knew?” Normani squeaked.
“Well no, but you guys have always liked each other. I figured it’d happen eventually, so come on, when did it all happen?” Lauren said with a grin, practically bouncing in her seat.
Dinah finally grinned and Normani rolled her eyes.
“Around when you got locked up.” Dinah said, scrunching her nose slightly. “Bad timing.”
“Six months and you’re only just telling me? I don’t know whether to be offended or not.” Lauren said, narrowing her eyes at the pair.
“Well… it’s not actually why we came in but I figured it’d be now or never.” Normani said, laughing nervously.
Lauren looked between them, the awkwardness back in full force.
“What have you two done?” Lauren asked slowly.
“Other than each other?” Dinah joked before seeing the unimpressed look on Lauren’s face. “We hired Cabello to help us against Healy.”
Of all the things Lauren thought she might say, that was not one of them.
Not even remotely what she thought was going to be said.
“You what?” Lauren blinked at them and pursed her lips.
“We needed someone to get us some dirt and if it was one of our boys he’d get wacked before anything could get back to us.” Dinah reasoned quietly.
“So you thought you’d put Camila in danger instead.” Lauren said quietly. Dinah gulped and nudged Normani.
“It’s kind of her job Laur. She finds things out. She’s always in danger as a PI.” Normani said confidently before Lauren turned her eyes towards her and she shrank back into her chair.
Lauren took a deep breath before plastering on a tight smile.
“Other than the fact she’s good at her job?” Dinah asked. Lauren nodded once, slowly. “You trust her.”
“But did you forget that someone hired her to take down our business?” Lauren started. “That we still don’t know who, despite my best efforts to find out. That it could very well be Healy who hired her? And now through this you’ve given him a way in?”
Dinah and Normani shifted on their seats as Lauren slowly pushed her chair back and stood up.
“Look I’m happy for you guys, I really am, you deserve it. But this better not backfire in any way, shape or form. Or else I will personally dish out punishments when I’m out.” Lauren knocked on the door and Beckett appeared.
Shaking her head one last time, she left her friends behind as she was led back into the prison.
hmu on tumblr @alexdoeswriting + Wattpad @Firebird_18