“Eew. That’s gross.”
Detective Maggie Sawyer looked up, finding a cute, young blonde woman in glasses and a ponytail just on the other side of the crime scene tape. Frowning, she glanced around, trying to figure out how the girl had gotten past security.
“So like, the guy… melted?” the blonde asked.
Maggie glanced down, spying the notebook in the girl’s hands and her frown deepened. Snapping off her gloves, Maggie rose, crossing to the tape tape fluttering in the breeze as she sized the young woman up. Something was vaguely familiar about her. “Reporters aren’t allowed inside the crime scene.”
“I’m not inside the crime scene.” The girl plucked at the tape and gave her a charming grin Maggie was quite sure was typically potently effective. “I really don’t mean to bother you from your work, Detective. I just need to get a quote, and I’ll be out of your way.”
“You’ll be out of my way whether I give you a quote or not,” Maggie answered, but there was no malice in her tone. The girl had guts and some skill to have made it this far.
“I’ll trade you,” the blonde offered.
Maggie’s eyebrows lifted.
“I can point you to an eyewitness if you can give me a quote.”
“You should point me toward the eyewitness anyway.” Maggie slipped under the tape and crowded into the younger woman’s personal space. The police were interviewing the bystanders but there were hundreds of them. “Unless you want me to charge you with obstruction?”
“You wouldn’t do that,” the reporter said with an unsure smile.
The blonde adjusted her glasses. “Right then. Had to try.” She continued to look at Maggie, her blue eyes assessing, but she didn’t seem put out over the threat. “See the guy in the apron behind me and on the left?”
Maggie glanced in the direction the reporter indicated. “The butcher?” She assumed his profession given the blood spattered apron her sported around his neck.
The girl nodded. “He had a direct view of the scene from his shop window.”
“Huh. You talked to him already?”
The reporter just smiled.
“And what’s your name?” Maggie asked.
“Oh.” The girl nudged her glasses higher again and offered her hand. Maggie shook it, surprised by the powerful grip. “I’m Kara. Kara D-.”
“Is this reporter bothering you? Should I have her tossed?” Alex Danvers came strolling over, arriving fashionably late to the scene, as usual, ready to throw around her jurisdictional weight. Maggie was starting to see these encounters as a strange sort of foreplay between them. When Alex Danvers butted into her cases, she was guaranteed a good time. Clad in jeans and a leather jacket, hands on her hips, Alex cut a dangerous figure, but the sunny reporter didn’t seem to notice or care.
Kara watched them, a puzzled smile flickering over her lips before she turned and glared fully at the agent. “Really? I try to do you all a favor and this is the thanks I get?”
“Favor, huh?” Alex said. “And what do you want in exchange for this favor?”
“A quote would be very helpful, Agent Danvers,” Kara snarked, overly formal, poking Alex in the chest with the capped end of her pen.
Maggie’s frown reappeared as she regarded the two, surprised and a little jealous at the easy familiarity between them. “You know this woman?”
Kara narrowed her eyes. “Come on, Alex. Give me something. Snapper has been unbearable this week.”
Alex continued to smile but said nothing.
“Okay,” Kara said changing gears. “Don’t make me call Eliza.”
A flicker of annoyance crossed Alex’s features. “You wouldn’t.”
Kara cocked one eyebrow.
“That’s just… low. And sad. And-”
“Exactly what I’ll do if you don’t give me a quote.” Kara looked triumphant.
Alex glanced at Maggie, her gaze lingering, and Maggie rather enjoyed the way her body warmed in reaction. “What do you think? Should we?”
“She did give us a witness,” Maggie allowed.
Kara smiled a little too sweetly at the agent.
Sighing theatrically, Alex pretended to be put out. “Fine. I’ll email you something in an hour or so. Go write your damn article.” Affection was heavy in Alex’s voice, though, and as Maggie watched, Kara gave a little hop, grabbed the agent by the shoulders, and kissed her on the cheek.
Maggie’s stomach plunged in disappointment at their obvious closeness, and then even further when the blonde spoke again.
“I love you,” Kara said.
“And you love me too,” Kara reminded Alex with a cheeky grin.
An ache bloomed in Maggie’s chest as Alex smiled a little too indulgently at the other woman. Jealousy, thick and unwelcome, tumbled through her, and Maggie clenched her jaw and looked away.
“Thank you, Detective Sawyer,” Kara said sincerely, reluctantly drawing Maggie’s attention back on her. The girl wasn’t nearly as cute anymore. “Good luck on your case.”
Maggie blinked, sure she hadn’t shared her name with the reporter. She stood there awkwardly for a moment, not sure what to ask Alex about the blonde, if she dared ask anything at all.
“She’s pretty,” Maggie said tightly as she watched the reporter walk away.
Alex sighed again. “Yeah. She is.”
Slipping under the crime scene tape, Alex held it up so Maggie could do the same. Alex was always doing little things like that for her, proving chivalry wasn’t dead and that it also happened to look sexy as hell in a leather jacket. This time, though, the gesture only rubbed salt in the wound.
“So… um… who is Eliza? Your superior?”
“My mother.” Alex rolled her eyes.
“She threatened to tattle on you to your mother?” Maggie couldn’t help it, she chuckled at the reporter’s moxie, but it unsettled her that Alex was apparently in so deep with the younger woman.
Maggie’s head whipped back around, looking back at Kara as the reporter waved at the butcher and disappeared into the crowd. “Wait, she’s your…”
Suddenly the interaction between the two became adorable rather than threatening. Maggie knew her crush on Alex was deepening, and this glimpse into the agent’s private life was not going to help.
“She didn’t actually bother you, did she?” Alex asked hesitantly.
“No.” Maggie slipped a new pair of gloves out of her bag and wiggled them on. “Honestly, she was so sweet and cute, I was seriously considering giving her a quote anyway.”
Alex shook her head. “Not you too.”
“Don’t fall for my sister. She has a line of suitors down the block.”
Maggie grinned. “She is pretty, but she’s not really my type.”
“And what’s that?” Alex asked with forced casualness as she slipped on her own gloves.
“I’ve always had a weak spot for dark and deadly rather than bright and bubbly.”
A small, pleased smile spilled over Alex’s lips, and Maggie was helpless not to wonder what that mouth would feel like against her own.
“Likewise,” Alex murmured, capturing Maggie’s gaze for a long moment before she gave her a knowing wink and knelt to study what very little was left of their victim on the asphalt.
Maggie glanced back at the crowd, all signs of Kara Danvers gone before she looked down at Alex at her feet. Between the two of them, Maggie suspected she could get into a lot of trouble.
She was looking forward to it.