"I'll call you tomorrow, Jimmy," Peter Durkin said as he said his goodbyes to his host at the front door of the house while Cam remained in the living room. "Just think about my ideas. I really think that we'd make a good team and could do a lot of good things together."
"I'll do that, Pete," Jimmy said.
"Thanks again for dinner. And tell Dr. Collier it was a pleasure to meet her." Hearing the words, Cam felt her eyes roll in disbelief.
She was gathering the coffee cups onto a tray when Jimmy came back into the room. "He's finally gone?" she said.
"Yeah." He studied her for a moment. "You didn't like him," he observed.
Cam gave him a knowing look. "I think the feeling was mutual. After an entire evening, he was calling you 'Jimmy', but I was still 'Dr. Collier'."
"He's well thought of in political circles," Jimmy pointed out. "Comes very highly recommended."
Cam smiled. "I notice that you didn't try to say I was wrong," she said, picking up the tray. "It doesn't really matter whether or not I like the man, Jimmy. As long as you think that you can work with him and that he can help you accomplish what you want to do, that's all that matters, isn't it?"
He placed a hand on her shoulder, stopping her as she would have left the room. "No, that's not all that matters. Why don't you like him?"
"I don't know," she said, sighing. Lifting the tray, she said, "I need to get this into the kitchen."
He took it from her and lead the way into that room. Mrs. Dawson had already left for the evening, so Cam quickly rinsed the cups and saucers, putting them into the dishwasher, which was ready to be turned on once she'd done so. The entire time she worked, she was aware of Jimmy, standing close by, watching her.
After she was done, Cam wiped her hands on a dishtowel. "I can't pinpoint why I feel uneasy around him, Jimmy," she finally said. "I know he disapproves of my past -"
"He never said that."
"He didn't have to," she insisted. "And I know he's uncomfortable with the fact that we're living together and apparently have no plans to make it more permanent."
Jimmy pulled her into his arms. "Well, that could be rectified," he pointed out.
"James Conlon, you are *not* asking me to marry you just because of your political aspirations, I hope."
"Of course not. I'm asking you to marry me because I want to let the whole world know that we belong together."
"I think most people in Indianapolis already know that," she pointed out.
"Are you saying that you won't marry me?"
"I'm saying that I won't marry you just to satisfy some stodgy old political hacks who think it would look better to voters if you weren't 'living in sin' with a woman who has a history that's going to be difficult to sell to those voters anyway," she explained.
"Living in sin?" he repeated, laughing softly. "It was *my* idea for you to move in, remember?"
"I know. And I'm not saying that you feel that way. But the same people who will have a problem with my past will have a problem with my living here without the benefit of clergy. I'm also sure that Peter Durkin is well aware of that fact."
"Tell you what, I'll arrange to have lunch with him, let him know that we'll just have to deal with your past and being a part of my life if he wants to work for me."
"And if he says that he can't do that?"
"Then I'll find someone who can," he told her. His arms tightened around her. "I can always find another political advisor. I can't find another you."
Cam lifted her head to meet his, moving to touch the light switch on the wall behind him. "Let's go up to bed," she suggested once the kiss ended.
"My thoughts exactly," he agreed, capturing her lips once more before turning them both toward the entry hall. "I already set the alarm," he explained, reaching over to turn off the light as they passed by en route to the stairway.
"So," Pete Durkin said when he and Jimmy met the next day for lunch at the Side Bar, "does your calling me mean that you've thought about what I said last night?"
"Maybe. I do have a few more questions," Jimmy answered.
"If I can answer them, I'll be glad to do so. And if I can't, I'll do my best to find the answers."
Jimmy laughed at the man's eagerness to be of assistance. "It concerns Cam," he said, watching Durkin's body language.
"Cam? Oh, Dr. Collier. What about her?"
"Do you have a problem with Cam being a part of my life, Pete?" Jimmy asked, not wanting to cut to the heart of the matter. He wasn't surprised when Durkin looked slightly uncomfortable.
"Honestly, Jimmy, I'm not sure that she's the woman you need at your side in this."
"I *am* sure," Jimmy stated. "Cam *is* at my side, and she's not going anywhere. If that's going to be a problem, then -" Jimmy made as if to leave, but Durkin stopped him.
"I think it's something that can be worked with. The fact that she's working with various self-help groups now is a good thing. And the fact that she was born *and* raised in Indiana is a plus. She's likeable - has a good presence."
"So there's no problem?"
"No. It's good that her skeletons are all out in the open - it means that we can deal with them more easily if necessary. You have any skeletons that we need to discuss?" he asked, turning the conversation back to Jimmy and away from Cam, Jimmy noticed. Very deft, he thought.
After that first dinner, Cam was aware that Pete Durkin always arranged to meet with Jimmy over lunch or at the office. If she thought that Jimmy might be allowing the man a bit too much access to the Deputy Prosecutor's office, she kept quiet about it to Jimmy. Jimmy knew what he was doing, and she trusted him, even if she still didn't trust Pete Durkin any further than she could see him. Their meetings were limited to fundraisers, where they greeted each other and smiled for the cameras but barely interacted otherwise.
Right after the office settled the Murphy case, she had dinner with Annabeth and Maureen at the Annabeth's house, since Jimmy was tied up with a 'political planning session' at Pete Durkin's office.
After dinner, Annabeth put Haley down for the night, then joined them in the living room for a glass of wine. "I think she's asleep," she told them, picking up her glass.
"She's really so adorable, Annabeth," Cam said.
"Adorable enough that you might consider having one of your own with Jimmy?" Annabeth questioned, her expression clearly teasing.
"You never know. Once we're both in a place to make things permanent, we'll see."
"Any idea when that might be?" Maureen questioned.
"Not really," Cam said with a sigh. "Right now, Jimmy's tied up with cases and getting all his ducks in a row to run for AG, and I'm still getting my private practice established along with making these speeches all over the three state area."
"Take my advice," Maureen said. "Don't put it off. You never know what might happen tomorrow or next week -" she rolled her eyes. "And listen to me. Giving relationship advice."
Annabeth giggled. "It's a good idea to be *in* a relationship first," she pointed out to her old friend.
"Speaking of," Cam noted, "Any news on that front? I know you said the other day that you thought Ed might be thinking about asking you out -"
Maureen sighed this time, shaking her head. "Still nothing. It's like he's afraid to get too close."
"Hasn't he been married before?" Cam questioned.
Annabeth nodded. "Yes. I don't think it lasted very long - and I think it ended because she couldn't handle his being a cop."
"Maybe you should take the bull by the horns and ask *him* out," Cam suggested. "Like I did with Jimmy."
Both women's eyes widened in surprise. "You're kidding, right?"
"Not at all. Jimmy and I both ran at the same time every morning," she explained. "He'd come up behind me and I could tell he was deliberately slowing his pace to stay behind me for a distance -" she paused as they all laughed knowingly before she continued "- and then he'd put on a burst of speed and be gone before I reached the end of the trail. So after an entire week, I finally spoke first and broke the ice." She didn't mention that she'd almost let him get away before speaking up and asking him to dinner.
"I'd have never pictured James Conlon as being the shy type," Annabeth observed.
"I think he might be, under the right circumstances and with the right woman," Maureen decided.
"He was so cute," Cam went on. "Stammering and stumbling over his words. I remember at one point telling him that I hoped he didn't depend on talking to make a living. I thought he was a stock broker or something. I was so buried in my career at that point I barely read the papers or watched TV, so I didn't recognize him right away."
"Maybe I will ask Ed to have a drink, at least," Maureen decided. "That's non-threatening enough, don't you think?"
"Good for you!" Annabeth declared.
"Now, we just have to find someone for you, Annabeth," Cam said.
"I have Haley," Annabeth told her, and Cam saw her eyes move to the photograph of her late husband and daughter that sat nearby. "I barely have time for her these days. Trying to find time to start a new relationship would be almost impossible. Besides, it hasn't been a year yet since -"
Maureen reached over to touch her friend's arm in quiet support. "I'm sorry," Cam said. "I shouldn't have -"
"You didn't say anything wrong, Cam," Annabeth insisted. "I'm just - not quite ready to look for someone to take Jack's place."
"I'm not sure that anyone will ever take his place, Annabeth," Cam said. "But it's nice, opening yourself up to being hurt, letting someone in who'll be there for you when things get really rough and frightening."
"I can't say that I envy you, living with Jim," Maureen told Cam. "Someone that high-pressure -"
"He's not like that at home," Cam insisted. "Not unless the case is a really tough one. Once he lets it go, he's sweet and absolutely wonderful."
"Still, better you than me," Maureen said again. "Don't get me wrong, I admire him."
"We both do," Annabeth said. "I know when he first came here, he was brash and seemed determined to steam roll over everything and everyone -" she paused, and Maureen took up the statement to complete it.
"Now that we've gotten to know him, we've both come to realize that while his methods might be different, we're all looking for the same goal: justice for the victims of violent crime. To give a voice to those who can't speak."
"So, do you think he'd be a good state AG?" Cam asked.
Annabeth laughed. "You sound like a candidate's wife, now, Cam," she noted.
"I'm serious. Do you?" she asked again, this time addressing the question to Maureen, who hadn't laughed.
"Yes," Maureen said. "I do. But if you tell him I said so, I'll deny it," she added quickly. "The man's ego at work is tough enough to deal with without his knowing *that*." This time, she grinned, and all three of them laughed.
"Is he really going to use Pete Durkin as his campaign advisor?" Annabeth asked.
"I think so. Why do you ask? Have you heard anything about why he shouldn't?"
She lifted her shoulders. "No. But then, I haven't really kept up with local politics over the last year or so. I do know that he's a mover and a maker of political power houses - but sometimes that comes at a pretty high price."
"A *very* high price," Maureen repeated, her expression somber again.
Jimmy and Cam were on the way home from dinner when his cell phone rang. "It's Annabeth," he told Cam as he answered. "Annabeth. What's up?" Cam saw him frown. "What? Are Haley and Patricia all right?" Cam reached over to touch his arm, concerned. "Good. I'll call Ed, make sure he gets someone over there - You're sure? Okay. I'll see you tomorrow, then. Call if you need - I will. Be careful."
"What is it, Jimmy?" Cam asked as he hung up the phone and returned it to his pocket before unlocking the door of the car for her.
"Someone took Annabeth's keys from her office this afternoon - and let himself into her house while her babysitter was busy giving Haley a bath."
"Oh my God," Cam whispered. "Are they okay?"
"Yeah. But Annabeth's a little worried."
"I don't blame her. She's afraid this has to do with the Veeder case, isn't she?"
"I'm sure it has everything to do with it. She said there was a piece of note paper with a police shield embossed on it under the keys on her kitchen counter."
"Did she call Ed?"
"She said that a friend was there with her for the night - but I'm going to have Ed detail a unit that he trusts to keep an eye on her house," he told her, taking out the phone to hit the speed dial again. "Ed, it's Conlon . . . Someone took Annabeth's keys from the office and left them in her house this evening - yeah . . . She says she has someone there with her tonight, but . . . Good man . . . Thanks." He hung up again.
"Are you worried they might go after Maureen or you?" Cam wanted to know.
"I think they're after Annabeth. They see her as a weak link because of Haley. But I *am* going to suggest you keep an eye out for anything unusual."
"I will," she promised. "If you will."
"You've met Samantha Veeder, haven't you?" Jimmy asked Cam over dinner a few days later.
"We've met a few times, yes," Cam confirmed. "Mostly in relation to a possible cooperative effort between the Family Center and Greenwood."
"What was your impression of her?"
Cam thought back to the handful of meetings. "Cold. Determined. I've known women who were dedicated to their work, but Samantha Veeder was wholly devoted to that shelter and what they do for those girls. Almost to the point of obsession. She called me last week -"
Cam nodded. "She wanted me to come to the shelter to talk to some of the girls -"
"No. I told her that I wasn't sure it would be a good idea, since you and I are involved."
"You didn't mention it to me."
"You've been so preoccupied with the case and worrying about Annabeth, and dealing with Durkin -" She had come to expect the heavy sigh at the sound of the advisor's name. "Problems?"
"I don't know. Every time I turn around, he's there, trying to get my attention away from my job and onto the campaign -"
"That's his job," Cam pointed out.
"I know. But I wasn't planning on investigating the police department's narcotics division while trying to run a campaign," he said. "The two don't work together very well."
"The good cops will thank you in the long run, Jimmy," Cam told him.
"I hope so. If we could have put Chris Veeder away, it would have been better."
"Someone like that will keep making mistakes," Cam pointed out. "You'll get him."
"I hope so."
Cam did a double take when she saw the police car sitting just outside of the front gate of the house when she came home a couple of weeks later. Jimmy's car was in the drive, and she entered the house, setting her case on the table near the door.
Mrs. Dawson came from the kitchen. "Good evening, ma'am," she said.
"Mrs. Dawson. Where is Mr. Conlon?" she asked, glancing into the empty living room.
"He's in the study. Dinner will be ready in an hour."
"Thank you," Cam said distractedly, turning toward the other room. The door was slightly ajar, so she tapped on it cautiously. "Jimmy?"
"Come in, honey," he said, also sounding a little distracted.
He was sitting behind the huge oak desk, papers scattered in front of him as he studied them. "There's a police car out front," she said.
Coming from behind the desk, Jimmy gave her a kiss. "I know. I ordered it there."
"Something happened, didn't it?" she asked, not letting him go and looking up at him.
"Yes. Someone took a shot at our star witness this morning when Annabeth and Ray went to get her from the safe house."
Her arms tightened around him. "You're taking over the case, aren't you?"
"Yes," he confirmed. "That's why I asked for a patrol car outside. To keep an eye on you. Annabeth's worried about leaving Haley alone if something were to happen. I want to make sure that nothing happens to you, either."
"Who's going to keep an eye on you?"
"Veeder would have to be insane to try to take me out. It would convict him when nothing else would. He wouldn't be that stupid. I'm just glad that Jessie's still in New York and I don't have to worry about her."
She gave him another hug. "Well, I'll let you get back to work, then. Do you want dinner when it's ready?" she asked.
"I guess so."
"I'll let you know when it's ready, then." She drew the hug out slightly before letting him go back to the desk.
Grabbing her case from the foyer, Cam went into the living room, planning to go over some test results, but found herself dialing Annabeth's number, wanting to make sure she was okay after having been shot at.
The phone was answered by a male voice. "I'm sorry. I must have the wrong number. I'm trying to reach Annabeth Chase -"
"This is her house," the man said. "Just a minute." She heard him put the phone down and then say, "Annabeth, it's for you."
"Who is it?"
"She didn't say."
"Did you look at the Caller ID?"
"No - says 'J. Conlon'.
"Jimmy. He must have a question about the files I gave him."
"Here, I'll take her."
Annabeth picked up the phone. "Hello?"
"It's Cam, Annabeth, not Jimmy."
"Oh. Hi, Cam. Is something wrong?"
"No. I just wanted to make sure you were okay after today. Jimmy told me what happened. Who's the nice sounding guy with you?" she asked.
"Matt Ewing," Annabeth answered, and Cam heard the smile in her friend's voice. "He's a police officer who's been helping in the investigation."
"I really hate putting everything off on Jimmy, Cam."
"I know you do. You need to think about Haley. She needs you."
"Yes, yes, she does."
"Jimmy said that Ray was with you the morning?"
"He got us out of there before anyone got hurt," Annabeth confirmed. "He's okay."
"Good. I'll call him after we hang up."
"Be careful, Cam. These people mean business."
"Apparently so. I'll be fine. Take care of Haley and give her a hug from me, okay?"
"I will. Bye."
Cam was delighted two days later when Jimmy called her at work to announce, "We won!"
She didn't have to ask what he meant. "Guilty?"
"Guilty," he confirmed, sounding like he was on cloud nine.
"I'm so glad, Jimmy," she said. She knew how much this meant to him.
"I'm sure it's just the tip of the iceberg, and we still need to prove Mrs. Veeder's involvement, but getting him is a first step. I've made reservations for us at St. Elmo's."
"Oooh. Nice." The steakhouse had become 'their' place, since it had been the site of their first date.
"I have an appointment with Judge Norris in his chambers in five minutes, but after that, I'll be leaving. Can you get away early?"
"Sure. I'll meet you at home."
She sensed that something was wrong the moment she saw him. He was standing in the living room, drinking a glass of bourbon. "Starting the celebration alone?" she asked, coming up and slipping under his arm to slide her arms around his chest.
"Not sure there's going to be a celebration after all," he told her in a somber tone.
"Doug Helman told Annabeth that Veeder wanted to make a deal before his sentencing hearing. Said he'd name his accomplice."
"Pretty Boy," Jimmy explained, pouring another drink.
"He sounds desperate," Cam noted. "Did he tell her who Pretty Boy is?"
Cam's jaw dropped at the news. "Durkin? Of course. It would make sense, wouldn't it? He was there every step, ostensibly making sure that what you were doing didn't seriously impact your political chances, but in reality he was getting inside information on the case. That -"
"We don't know for sure yet," Jimmy told her. "The statement that Veeder gave was enough for me to get Judge Norris to sign off on a couple of search warrants. Ed and Ray are going out tonight to see if they can find any evidence to corroborate what Veeder told Annabeth."
Cam rubbed his back. "I'm sorry, Jimmy. I know this is difficult for you -"
"If it's true, I can't believe that I let myself be so blinded by my desire to become the next Indiana Attorney General." He shook his head. "That's not going to happen if it's true."
"You don't know that -"
"Cam, even *I* wouldn't vote for me after making so many errors in judgment. What was I *thinking*?" he asked, moving away to sit down on the sofa, his hands between his knees, his head bowed. "At the least, there will likely be an investigation into my allowing Veeder into the offices while we were handling an ongoing case. Harvey Devlin will probably ask to see me, expecting my resignation -"
"You're borrowing trouble, Jimmy," Cam insisted, sitting down beside him. "And that's not like you." She took the half-full glass from his hands. "Now, since we won't know for sure about Devlin being Pretty Boy until late tonight or tomorrow morning, you and I are going to celebrate your victory in court tonight."
"I don't feel much like celebrating, Cam," he said, sitting back on the sofa.
"Nonsense. Even if Durkin *is* involved, you *still* got that conviction. Nothing he did changed that fact. Chris Veeder is going be in prison for a long time, no matter what else may happen. That deserves celebrating." She stood up and grabbed his hand, pulling him toward her. "Come on."
"You're not going to let me sit here and feel sorry for myself, are you?" he asked, reluctantly rising to his feet, his hand still in hers.
"Nope. No self-pity allowed. Only happy thoughts. You're the best damn Deputy Prosecutor this state has ever seen - and you proved it in court today."
Jimmy pulled her to his side as they headed for the foyer and the stairs. "Okay. I'll try."
"I promised the people of this city that I would work to clean up corruption in the police force. Well, I think that we've fired the first shot with the conviction of Detective Chris Veeder. And now I'm cleaning my own house. I've recently charged my former political advisor Peter Durkin as an accessory to murder. I hold myself and every one of my colleagues to the same standards of integrity that I demand of our police. People have advised me that this level of honesty is not in my best interest. My answer to them is - I work to serve *your* best interests, and to tell the truth, as I know it."
As she stood just behind Jimmy with Annabeth, Maureen, Matt, Ray and Ed, Cam felt very proud of him. When the call had come in that Kellie Lawson had indeed been on Durkin's boat, Jimmy had made the call to Durkin's private line - asking him to be at the office early the next morning to talk about something involving the campaign. Upon Durkin's arrival, Jimmy had confronted him with the truth - and had him arrested.
Now, he was making the announcement about that arrest and indictment - and trying to do some damage control. Privately, Cam thought that his being honest and upfront about this would go a long way toward showing the people of Indianapolis that Jimmy's hands were clean - and that he would make a damn fine AG for the state.
"I want to apologize to everyone who feels that this office betrayed them in some way, and to assure you all that from now on, this office will answer only to the truth, first and foremost. Now, I will take a few questions -"
The first questions weren't a surprise, Cam decided.
"There are reports that Peter Durkin used his political relationship with you to gain access to the Veeder investigation," the reporter began. "Is that true?"
"While it's true that Mr. Durkin was around the Prosecutor's office, he had no access to sensitive material or any input regarding the prosecution of Chris Veeder."
"Are you going to continue to run for Attorney General?"
Cam saw Jimmy glance in her direction before answering. "I no longer consider myself a candidate for Indiana Attorney General," he answered. "As of the moment Peter Durkin was placed under arrest, I ordered all fund raising in my name to stop. Those monies will be returned as soon as possible to anyone who contributed them."
"Peter Durkin has been arrested for being an accessory to the murder of a young woman who stayed at the Greenwood Youth Shelter. Do you plan to expand the investigation further?"
"Yes. Mr. Durkin's statement has implied that this corruption reaches into high places. I will do whatever it takes to discover who else is involved and clean up this city . . ."
"You were wonderful, honey," she told him once the speech and accompanying press conference ended.
"For all the good it will do. Harvey Devlin wants to see me this afternoon." Hearing him mention the name of the Chief Prosecutor, Cam winced. "Probably wants my resignation."
"I don't think so," Annabeth told him, joining them. "You *did* get a conviction in Veeder's case," she pointed out. "And now you have his accomplice. Durkin's been indicted and wants to talk."
Maureen joined them. "I have to go," she said. "I'll see you back at the office."
Ed spoke up. "Where are you going?" he asked.
"An - appointment," Maureen told him.
"I'll drive you," he offered, and Cam frowned when she saw the concern on the man's face. But Maureen shook her head.
"Not this time, Ray. But thank you anyway."
Jimmy looked around. "Well, people, we'd better get back to the office. We still have work to be done."
"I'll drive you back, Annabeth," Matt offered.
"Thanks. I'll see you there," she told Jimmy and the others.
Ed and Ray moved toward Jimmy's SUV as he stayed with her. "Are you going back to the office?" he asked.
"Yes. Are you going to be okay?" she asked, worried about him.
"I'll be fine. Be careful, okay. Veeder still has friends out there. And so does Durkin. You know, I should have listened to your instincts about him from the beginning."
"I'm not saying 'I told you so'," she reminded him. Giving him a kiss, she cupped his cheek with her palm before moving away. "Call me? Let me know what Devlin says."
"Durkin's agreed to name names in return for a plea bargain," Jimmy told Cam a couple of days later, tossing yet another newspaper editorial that called for his resignation onto the desk in his study.
"Maybe once he does, you'll be a hero and all of this will end," she suggested.
Jimmy shook his head. "More likely the people he names will start working even *harder* to get me to leave."
"At least Devlin's standing behind you."
"Yeah. Just close enough behind me to give me the boot if things get too bad and far enough that he can say his hands are clean."
Cam grabbed the papers from his desk. "Forget these. You're a good prosecutor, Jimmy. Everyone who's important knows that. Harvey Devlin wouldn't keep you around if he didn't know it. You make him look good. He barely won reelection last time. His numbers have come up enough that he doesn't even have anyone running against him this time."
"Yet," he said in a wry tone.
"I still say that once Durkin starts talking, things will settle down."
"I hope so. Maureen's supposed to depose him tomorrow morning."
"Why don't we go to New York this weekend?" she suggested. "It might do you some good to see Jessie."
"Her senior trip is this weekend," he reminded her. "She'll be out of town with some friends in the Bahamas."
"Then why don't we drive upstate for the weekend? Get away from the TVs and newspapers?"
"We might," he said, putting his arms around her. "Thank you."
"Being here. For not losing faith in me."
"I thought that was my job?" she questioned.
"But you're going above and beyond the call of duty on this one."
"No more so than you did when you risked being killed to save me," she pointed out.
"I had to do that," he reminded her. "Because I couldn't see my life without you in it."
Cam was working on a case file when Jenny came into the office, her expression somber. "Jenny, what's wrong?"
"My - boyfriend just called. You remember he's a policeman-"
"Yes," Cam recalled, frowning. "Is he okay?"
"He's fine. But - he just got a call that - a prosecutor was shot and killed -"
Cam felt the icy fingers as they closed over her heart. "Did he say who -?"
"No. He knows you're seeing Mr. Conlon -"
Cam grabbed the phone, only to freeze as it began to ring. Taking a deep breath, she picked it up. "Hello?"
"Cam, I thought I'd better call," Jimmy said, sounding like he'd aged ten years in the few hours since they'd left the house after their morning run. "Are you watching the news?"
"No. But Jenny's boyfriend just called and told her that a prosecutor had been shot. I was afraid -"
"It wasn't me," he assured her. "Maureen -."
"Dear God. What happened?"
"She and a John Hahn went to depose Durkin at his apartment. Apparently when they arrived, they found Durkin and his attorney already dead. Maureen called the police, then Annabeth before the killer came back and killed her and Hahn as well."
He sounded tired. "Are you okay?"
"No. But right now, I need to hit the ground running and find the bastard who did this."
"I know." And she did know. Just as he'd done after the Judge's murder, Jimmy was going to put everything he had into finding the person who had killed Maureen Scofield and John Hahn. All Cam could do was to be there to give him moral support. "Should I call Jessie?"
"Would you? Tell her I'll call her later if I get a chance."
"I will. I love you."
"I love you, too," he answered.
Cam hung up the phone. "He's okay, then?" Jenny asked.
"Yes. Thank you, Jenny." She sat for a moment once the younger woman left the room before finding the remote for the TV that she seldom used and turning it on. Flipping through the channels, she stopped as she saw the words "Breaking News".
The camera was focused on the apartment building where Peter Durkin lived. There were several police cars and ambulances parked in front, and the reporter was speaking.
"Again, we've just received confirmation that long time Indianapolis resident Peter Durkin; his attorney Robert Sims; Marion Co. Assistant Prosecutor Maureen Scofield and police detective John Hahn were shot and killed at Mr. Durkin's apartment this morning. The building is reportedly home to Peter Durkin and his wife - Mr. Durkin was recently indicted by the Marion Co. Prosecutor's office as an accessory the murder of Kellie Lawson. Mrs. Durkin left the city and went into seclusion after her husband was indicted, having told friends that she was going to ask for divorce from her husband of ten years. According to my sources, Mr. Durkin was going to help the Prosecutor's office in their investigation into city-wide corruption uncovered by the conviction of Narcotics Detective Chris Veeder for murdering a young prostitute. Peter Durkin was also working for Chief Deputy Prosecutor James Conlon as a political advisor on Mr. Conlon's campaign for Indiana Attorney General."
Cam muted the TV, having heard all of this before. She knew that the local media had bought into the smear campaign being waged by Samantha Veeder and others, the implication that Jimmy was as dirty as they were, and that he'd known about Peter Durkin's involvement in a prostitution ring run out of Mrs. Veeder's youth shelter.
Durkin's death was only going to give them more ammunition to continue the rumors and innuendo, she realized.
Cam was waiting when Jimmy got back to the house on Meridian Street that night. He looked tired and lost, somehow. The moment he was inside the house, he pulled her into his arms and held her tightly. "I've never lost someone on my staff that way," he finally said. "Never had to stand and watch while the coroner's people zipped her up in body bag and -" his words faded, and Cam's hold tightened even more.
"I'm sorry, Jimmy. I know how much you thought of her."
"She was good," Jimmy confirmed, letting Cam lead them toward the living room. "You know, she was in line to get my job when Devlin called me in New York and asked me to come out here. But she never said a word, never let on that she felt at all slighted. She gave me 100% every day. Even when we disagreed about how to handle a case, I admired her for standing up for what she believed to be right. And I have to wonder, did I somehow contribute to what happened? Did she pay the price for my seeking political office?"
"Jimmy, this wasn't your fault," Cam insisted, pulling back and taking his hands in hers. "It would have happened to anyone who went over there to depose Durkin. You, Annabeth - anyone. If anyone is to blame, it's Durkin himself for being the kind of man he was."
"Did you call Jessie?" he asked.
"I did. She said that she and Gail would send some flowers when we knew where to send them."
"Her father's due in tomorrow morning."
"Do they know who did this yet? If it was tied to Durkin and Veeder?"
"Veeder's not talking. He wants a guarantee that we won't go after his wife before he talks. But the way they were killed - it was a professional hit. Someone wanted to stop Durkin from naming names."
"That could implicate a lot of people," Cam said. "If he was right about how far this things reaches -"
"I know. What I don't understand is how they knew Maureen would be there today. No one outside of the Prosecutor's office knew that they'd changed the location of the meeting from Sims' office to Durkin's condo."
"Sounds like there might be a leak inside the office," Cam told him.
"I know. It's what we've been fighting from day one on this case. Someone tried to keep us away from Veeder - and now this. Annabeth has protection - Matt Ewing's staying with her and Haley, in addition to the patrol car parked at her house. I've ordered a patrol car back outside the gate here, but I'd feel better if I knew you had someone watching you during the day."
"I'll be fine, Jimmy," she assured him. "You and Annabeth are targets more than anyone else." She watched as he went to pour a glass of bourbon. "The TV stations are all implying that you might have been behind all of this," she told him.
He grunted. "I know. They want to smear my reputation in an effort to muddy the waters. But I didn't have anything to do with this - I have nothing to hide. They do."
"What did Devlin have to say about Maureen?"
"He suggested that we back off a little on the corruption case, put our energy toward finding the shooter first."
"He didn't ask for your resignation, then?"
Jimmy shook his head. "Not yet. He was concerned that Durkin might have told Annabeth or me something that could get one of us killed. That's why he agreed to the heightened security for the duration."
"He didn't, did he?"
"No. But Devlin is worried that whoever killed Durkin or had him killed will *think* that something was said to us."
"He sounds more than a little paranoid to me," she observed, curling up on the sofa, watching him prowl the room like a caged panther.
He stopped, looking at her. "Paranoid? No. Just worried. Like we all are. And angry. Whoever this guy is, he's not going to get away. And when we get him, we'll get the people who hired him."
Cam stood up. "Why don't you sit down and call Jessie while I get supper on the table?"
"You?" He looked around. "Where is Mrs. Dawson?"
"I gave her the evening off. She left something that I could heat up." Giving him a kiss, she said, again, "Call your daughter."
Cam was just arriving at the office the next morning day when there was a knock on her office door. Aware that Jenny hadn't arrived yet, Cam called out, "Come in."
She was surprised when Ray appeared. "Hi, Cam."
"You look terrible," she noted, observing his lined face. "Sit down."
Moving around the desk, she placed a hand on his wrist, counting. "You heard about Maureen, right?" he asked.
Cam nodded, grabbing her stethoscope. "Are you trying to say this is a reaction to her death, Ray?" she asked, frowning when she finished the exam.
"No. Ed and Matt Ewing and I went after the guy who shot her and Durkin early this morning. We chased him through an abandoned warehouse - I was heading up some stairs when I -" he put a hand to his chest. "I couldn't breathe -"
Cam picked up the phone. "You need to be in the hospital -"
But Ray grabbed the phone from her. "No."
"Ray, you had a heart attack. If you don't get treatment, you'll have another. And this time you might not recover."
"I'll get treatment after we find this creep," Ray insisted. "He almost took Ed out, too," he said.
Ray moved to the window. "While I was stuck on the stairs, I sent Ed on ahead to get the guy. But the guy shot at him. Luckily, Ed was wearing a vest. He was stunned, but he's okay."
"Did you or Ed tell Jimmy what happened?"
"No. Ed said that he wouldn't mention it - I told him I'd take care of it."
"And that meant coming to see me," Cam guessed.
"I need something to - get me through this."
"And after that?" she questioned, watching him.
"I've already called Dr. Graham, told him to schedule me for surgery. He said that he'd come out here to do it."
Cam sat down behind her desk and wrote out a prescription. "Okay. Take these - and try not to chase anyone else for the next few days. I don't have to tell you that every time you have one of these spells, your heart is that much weakened."
"I know. And I know I should tell Jimmy - but right now, he's got enough on his plate that he doesn't need me adding to it." He took the paper. "Thanks."
As she was about to enter the County Courthouse a couple of days later, Cam almost literally ran into Jimmy as he was leaving. "Hi," she said.
"Hi yourself," he replied, accepting her brief kiss. "What are you doing here?"
"I thought we could have lunch," she told him. "If you could get away -"
"I'd like to, but -" he pulled her aside, glancing around as he continued. "I have to go over to the U.S. Attorney's office."
"Turns out that Durkin was using my campaign to launder dirty money from various illegal enterprises around the area," eh told her.
"Oh no. That - I know I shouldn't speak ill of the dead, Jimmy, but that man -"
"I know," he agreed, putting his hands on her shoulders. "I'm going to give the US Attorney the financial records for my campaign to go over and hope they have something on Durkin and the people he was involved with that we can use to get to the people who hired Thomas to kill Durkin and the others."
"I guess I'll have lunch by myself, then," she decided.
"Why not find Annabeth?" he suggested. "I think she's in the office."
"I'll do that," Cam decided, giving him another kiss. "Good luck."
She watched him down the steps before continuing inside to Annabeth's office. Her friend was sitting at her desk, focused on some papers before her. Tapping on the doorframe, Cam said, "Hi, Annabeth."
The blonde looked up at her with a sad smile. "Cam. Come in. This is a surprise. Jimmy's -"
"I know. I ran into him on the way in. I thought he and I might have lunch - but if you don't mind being second choice -?"
Annabeth looked uncertain, so Cam stepped it up a notch. "I know you're busy, but you need to eat. And I don't mean something brought in. We'll go down to the Side Bar and order something nutritious and talk about Maureen."
Annabeth's smile returned, still tinged with sadness. "Okay. Let's go."
Lunch was quiet, with Annabeth recalling stories about her old friend. "Meeting her father the other day - he was so much like Maureen," she said. "He had a - quiet strength about him but you could tell that he was devastated by losing her. They hadn't talked much over the last few years, but you could tell how much she meant to him."
"How are things with you and Matt?" Cam wanted to know, deciding to change the subject.
"Moving along. I guess you heard about what happened -"
"His shooting Thomas to save you?" Cam said. "Yes. Jimmy told me about it. It must have been terrifying for you."
"Probably as much as it was for you when Colby held you prisoner."
"Jimmy said that Matt won't be on desk duty for long. That it was a 'good shoot'."
"It was. He saved my life. If he hadn't - then I know that Thomas would have killed him - and then me." She wiped a tear away. "I'm sorry."
"No, I'm the one who should apologize. I brought you out to lunch to cheer you up, and here we are both nearly in tears."
"I can't seem to stop crying these days," Annabeth sighed. "So much has happened over the last year."
"At least you met Matt and he's in your life," Cam pointed out. "That's a good thing, isn't it?"
Annabeth's smile wasn't quite as sad when she answered. "Yes. That's a very good thing."
Cam was waiting when Jimmy came home that night. He was more upbeat than he'd been in some time, she noticed, and couldn't help but comment on it.
"We arrested the people who *hired* Thomas to kill Durkin and his attorney," he told her, pouring two glasses of wine. "That's why I had to stay late. Annabeth questioned one of them while I questioned the other. Tried to get them to flip on each other."
"No. But we don't need it. We have enough with Veeder's testimony and everything else."
"Who is it?" she asked. "Or can you tell me?"
"It should be on the news," he told her, grabbing the remote and turning the TV on to the local news station.
"On the local front, the Marion County Prosecutor's office arrested Samantha Veeder, wife of convicted murderer and former narcotics detective Chris Veeder, and Philip Deshayes for conspiracy and the murders of Peter Durkin, his attorney Robert Sims, Detective John Hahn and Assistant Prosecutor Maureen Scofield. Mrs. Veeder, a well known figure around Indianapolis, refused to comment on the charges when we caught up with her as she was leaving the courtroom after posting two million dollars in bond and surrendering her passport."
"Veeder's *wife*?" Cam asked Jimmy as he turned the TV off again.
"She and Deshayes are *close*," he said. "*Very* close. When Veeder found out, he was furious and has agreed to testify against them both at trial."
Cam was still confused. "I don't understand -"
"It's complicated," Jimmy told her. "Has to do with the new children's hospital -"
"The one that Samantha Veeder's been fundraising for?"
"Yeah. They were using it to funnel drug money and campaign funds and God knows what else. They planned to use eminent domain to buy up land cheaply, then sell it back to the hospital at a huge profit. Durkin knew about it, and was going to tell *us* in order to get his sentence reduced."
"They couldn't risk that, and had him killed."
"Maureen and John were in the wrong place at the wrong time," Jimmy said. "If they had been five minutes later, they wouldn't have seen Thomas leaving and he wouldn't have come back to keep them from testifying against him."
"Jessie said that she and Gail sent some flowers for the funeral tomorrow," Cam told him.
"Yeah. She told me the same thing when I talked to her earlier," he confided.
Talking about the funeral was bringing him down again, so Cam asked, "Do you think the trial will be over quickly?"
"I doubt it. Mrs. Veeder's attorney is already making noises that there are 'other people' with a motive to see Durkin dead."
"Meaning you," Cam guessed.
"I knew it would come up whoever went to trial, Cam. Once the trial is over, if Devlin wants my resignation, I'll give it to him."
"And go back to New York?" she asked.
"What would you say if I said yes?"
"I'd ask if you wanted some company."
His arms went around her. "Always. But I don't want to pull you away from here, Cam."
"What reason do I have to stay? I'm a surgeon. I'm sure they need surgeons in New York. My place is with you, Jimmy. Wherever that may be. Here, New York - as long as we're together, that's what matters."
"Have I told you lately how much I love you, Cameron Collier?" he asked.
"Yeah. But tell me again."
He let his lips and body do the talking for him, and Cam was glad that Mrs. Dawson had already gone for the night, since they ended up making love on the sofa in the living room, both aware that tomorrow was the day of Maureen's funeral.
Cam could sense Jimmy's need to be reminded of the importance of being alive - of being close to someone, in every sense of the word. She understood the way he felt, she felt it as well.
His fingers were like a musician's playing her body like a finely tuned instrument as it joined with his in sweet, perfect harmony. It was a song that Cam knew she would never tire of hearing - or learning anew each time it was played.
When they collapsed against each other, exhausted and out of breath, Cam rested her head against his chest, listening to the beat of his heart. "Jimmy?" she said softly, her fingers tangling in the damp hair of his chest.
"Mmm?" he managed, still recovering as well.
"I'd like to try and have a baby."
She felt the change in his heartbeat, but couldn't identify the cause. Was he upset? Did he think it was a stupid idea? "Cam." She felt his fingers on her shoulders, lifting her so that he could see her face. "Are you sure?"
"I know we've barely discussed it - but the time seems right, somehow. To me, anyway -"
"To me, too," he told her, and she was relieved when she saw that he was smiling. "I'd love the idea of your carrying my child, Cam. Of sharing a part of myself with you. Does this mean that you'll consider marriage, too?" he asked, kissing her fingers as he brought them to his lips.
"Would you be terribly shocked if I said no to that - right now, at least? I know it doesn't make sense, but -"
"Whatever you want, Cam. We wouldn't be the first couple to have a baby first. I doubt we'd be the last." He pulled her head back down to his and kissed her deeply. "Why don't we go upstairs? I think the bed's a little more comfortable."
She smiled and slowly stood up, moving to gather their discarded clothing before following him to their bedroom . . .
Cam stood beside Jimmy at the gravesite, holding his hand. Annabeth stood on his other side, with Matt beside her, while Ed and Ray stood nearby along with other guests and friends. Reverend Scofield spoke quietly before turning to Annabeth to give the eulogy.
Annabeth talked about how good a friend Maureen had been during her joys and sorrows - about how much she was going to miss the woman who had been almost like a sister in some ways.
Jimmy's fingers tightened on Cam's several times during the short service, as he struggled to remain stoic. But she saw the excess moisture in his eyes, felt how tightly he was wound and knew that he was just putting on a show of strength for those around him.
After the service, Cam saw Ed move to the coffin and place a single rose on it, his head bowed. Leaving Jimmy talking to the Reverend, Annabeth, and Matt, she approached Ed.
"You and she could have been so good together," she noted sadly.
"Who says we weren't?" Ed replied, giving her a sideways look that caused Cam to turn and face him. "We went out a few times. The first time for coffee on the night she was threatened after Durkin was arrested," he explained. "She asked me," he said, and Cam smiled. "But she almost cancelled after finding that note in her car. I sometimes thought she only agreed to go in order to convince me not to tell Jimmy about it. I should have told him. I shouldn't have let her go to Durkin's place that morning with Hahn."
"If you'd gone with her, Ed, you'd be dead, too," Cam reminded him.
"I know. But at least we'd be together." He shook his head. "I loved her, you know?"
"I know," Cam said, placing a hand on his arm. "Have you talked to her father?"
"I don't know what to say to him - I knew she was trying to get to know him again, but -"
"I think you should talk to him. Tell him how you felt - and let him listen."
Jimmy and Cam made a quick trip to New York over the weekend, both to visit Jessie and so that Jimmy could make some 'discreet inquiries' about possibly coming back to the city if things didn't work out in Indy.
Jessie was surprised by the possibility, worrying that she would end up all by herself in Indy after all if her father and Cam went back to New York. But Cam reassured her that it was just a contingency plan. "I have every confidence that your father will be right where he is after all is said and done," she declared while they waited for Jimmy to join them for lunch after meeting with an old friend.
"I hope you're right. I can't believe that anyone would think he would do anything illegal. I mean, my dad is the most honest person I've ever known. *Too* honest for his own good sometimes."
"Is there such a thing as *too* honest?" Cam asked.
"I guess not."
"So, tell me about last weekend."
"I told you and Dad last night -"
"I know what you told *him*. But I bet you didn't mention *everything*. Like the boys?"
Jessie grinned mischievously. "Well, there *was* one boy who was really *cute* . . ."
"How did the trial go today?" Cam asked Jimmy over dinner.
"I don't know. I was in a meeting with Devlin - and then Annabeth told me that she's decided to call me as a witness."
"To try and deflect Samantha Veeder's attorney's attempt to smear me in court. He as much as said that I had as much reason to want Durkin dead as anyone else."
"You said that might happen."
"Yeah. And I was right. She also found out that the US Attorney's office was conducting an investigation of the office because of Durkin being my advisor."
"Calm down," he said. "They've dropped it - mostly because of Maureen. She testified before a Federal Grand Jury not long before she died."
"What did she say?"
"I don't know. Since I'm on the witness list, I couldn't watch the tape of her testimony. If she thinks she needs to, Annabeth's going get the judge's permission to play the tape in court."
"When are you scheduled to testify?"
"First thing tomorrow morning."
"I'll be there," Cam told him.
"You don't have to -"
"Do you not want me there?"
"You know I do."
Cam sat in the gallery beside Maureen's father and Matt while Jimmy testified, answering Annabeth's questions. When Mike Bachner stood up to cross examine him, Cam tensed. But Reverend Scofield's hand covered hers and she gave him a grateful smile.
When Jimmy left the stand, Cam and the Reverend moved apart for him to sit between them. Jimmy's fingers slipped into Cam's palm, gripping her hand. He looked relaxed, but Cam could tell that he was worried. Bachner had made his point, and declared that Jimmy was just as corrupt as Pete Durkin had been.
When Annabeth stood to ask that the tape of Maureen's testimony be entered into evidence and played for the court, the defense objected as had been expected. Judge Michaels agreed to view the tape before admitting it, declaring a few minutes recess so that he could do so.
"I think it went well," Cam told Jimmy as they sat in the courtroom, waiting. She glanced up and saw Samantha Veeder's eyes on her, and felt a chill.
"It could have gone better."
"Do you think the judge will agree to let her play the tape of Maureen?"
The door from the Judge's chamber opened. "We're about to find out," Jimmy muttered, standing as the bailiff called the court to order.
"After reviewing the taped testimony of Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Maureen Scofield," Michaels began, "and the attendant documentation, I'm satisfied that it is a true and factual statement of Ms. Scofield, given under oath. As such, I agree to let it be heard by the jury. Ms. Chase, continue."
The bailiff rolled a television out to stand before the judge as Annabeth began. "Maureen Scofield was contacted in April and subpoenaed to testify before a Federal Grand Jury investigating Peter Durkin's ties to the Prosecutor's office. The following is a portion of that testimony - given under oath - as it pertains to James Conlon."
Annabeth began the recording, and Maureen's face appeared on the screen.
After detailing Jimmy's early refusal to sign off on warrants involving the Greenwood Shelter in the early days of the investigation because it might impact his political campaign, Maureen continued with, "Look, Jim Conlon and I disagree about a lot of things, but not ethics. The power to prosecute is an awesome burden. And Jim Conlon takes that power more seriously and balances the demands of the job more fairly than anyone I've ever worked with." Cam's fingers tightened around Jimmy's hand as they listened intently to the words Maureen was saying.
"You think highly of him," the US Attorney stated.
"I do," Maureen answered. "He's been an inspiration. I didn't like him at first, personally. I found him brash, high-handed even. But after working with him, I've come to admire him greatly."
Cam saw the Reverend glance approvingly in Jimmy's direction.
"He doesn't have an unethical bone in his body. And he would never, ever compromise the integrity of the office for political considerations."
Annabeth turned off the tape as Cam wiped a tear from the corner of her eye. Maureen had come through when it mattered the most.
Annabeth called Chris Veeder to testify against the defendants, he was cross examined, and then Annabeth rested her case.
It took the jury barely an hour to come back with their verdicts: guilty on all counts. As they listened to the judge reading the decisions, Cam still sat with Jimmy and the Reverend, not caring that she was crying. This time, the tears were because justice had been served.
Even though the defendants' attorneys requested a deal for their clients in exchange for their giving names and evidence, they were given four life sentences without parole for each murder. And Jimmy had taken great pleasure in informing Mrs. Veeder that her husband had agreed to not only testify against her and Deshayes, but had agreed to give all the names and information that Peter Durkin had been going to give in exchange for a reduced sentence.
Later that evening, they all gathered at the Side Bar to discuss the case - and to remember Maureen.
"It's nice what she said about you," Ed told Jimmy, who nodded in agreement.
"I think you were vindicated," Ray added.
"So do I," Cam agreed.
"Oh, I think it's a little late for me," Jimmy said, giving a self-depreciating grin.
"My opinion?" Annabeth said, "You should change your mind and stay in the race."
"You're just trying to get rid of me," Jimmy suggested, and Cam laughed.
"Maybe, but I think she's right, Jimmy."
Annabeth smiled. "That would mean I thought you actually had a chance to win."
Cam shared in the gentle teasing, knowing that Annabeth would support Jimmy if he did indeed decide to continue the fight.
Doug Helman joined the group, and they all raised a glass to Maureen.
After the toast, Helman said, "I thought you might all be talking about the latest bombshell to hit the Prosecutor's office."
"What bombshell?" Jimmy asked.
"Your boss just announced that he was resigning his office effective immediately."
Jimmy frowned, grabbing his cell phone as Annabeth asked, "Did he say why, Doug?"
"I got the impression that he's worried about what might happen when Chris Veeder starts naming names."
Cam saw Jimmy shake his head. "I forgot to turn it back on after court," he said, pressing the button.
"You're saying that Devlin's one of those names?" Ed suggested.
"That's what it sounded like to me," Doug confirmed as Jimmy's cell phone began to chirp, signaling several pages and voice mails. "Sounds like someone's been trying to reach you, Jim."
"Yeah. The mayor, mostly," Jimmy said, giving Cam a look. "I'm going to go call him and see what's going on."
"I'll wait here," she said, watching him move away toward the front of the restaurant.
"That explains the leak," Matt decided. "Conlon was reporting every move to Devlin -"
Annabeth nodded. "Until the trial, when I took over and played everything close to the vest. Devlin had no way of knowing about that tape and that it would vindicate Jimmy the way it did."
"So he no doubt planned that Mrs. Veeder and Deshayes would be found not guilty and he could ask for Conlon's resignation," Ed continued. "And then go after *him* for corruption and murder."
"Sounds like whoever takes his place is going to have a nice, juicy case to start out with," Ray said. "Too bad I won't be around to see much of it."
"What?" Annabeth asked. "Are you planning on going somewhere, Ray?"
"I'll be in the hospital, recovering from heart surgery," he announced, glancing first at Ed, then at Cam.
"How long has this been in the planning?" Annabeth asked.
"It's a long time coming," Ray said. "But it's past time I get this fixed. If it works, I might even be able to come back to work."
"It will work, Ray," Cam insisted, one eye keeping a watch for Jimmy's return. "I'm sure of it."
"It'd better work," Ed told him. "I don't want to break in a new partner. I'm just getting used to you and your New York way of doing things."
Jimmy came back, looking more than a little distracted. "Did you reach him?" Cam asked.
"Yeah. I need to get over there. He wants to talk to me an hour ago. Ray, can you see that Cam gets home?"
"We can take her," Annabeth offered, indicating herself and Matt. "What's going on, Jimmy?"
"I'm not sure yet. I'll see you tomorrow morning. Bright and early." He leaned down to give Cam a kiss. "Later."
"Good luck," she said, fretting that the mayor might have decided to clean house and get rid of everyone.
"At least that sounds like I'll still have a job tomorrow morning," Annabeth said.
"You can always come to work for me," Doug offered. "You'd make a lot more than as a prosecutor."
"If it was about the money, Doug, I'd say yes in a heartbeat."
"But it's not," he replied, nodding. "We've had this conversation before. Well, back to work tomorrow, I guess. I'll see you in court, I'm sure."
Cam was pacing the floor for what seemed to be the hundredth time when she finally heard the sound of Jimmy's SUV pulling up the drive. Opening the door, she waited for him to get out of the car.
"Well?" she wanted to know, barely letting him get inside the front door.
He smiled, catching her up into his arms and spinning around. "You're looking at the new Marion County Prosecutor, effective immediately. I have to be sworn in, but that'll happen tomorrow morning in a *huge* media event at the Courthouse -"
Cam blinked. "What?"
"I was asked to take Devlin's place," he told her, returning her to her feet. "And even said that if I wanted to run for the office on my own, I'd have his support."
"Oh, Jimmy! That's wonderful! I was worried. I thought maybe he was going to fire you-"
"Me? Fire me? Never!" he said, laughing as he led her into the living room, his arm around her shoulders.
"Matt thinks that Devlin was the leak during the Veeder case," she told him.
"It would make sense that he was. Devlin is the only person I spoke with about the case outside of the office - other than you, and that was only after the media had the information. He was playing me - just like he was everyone else."
"Are you going to be happy as a bureaucrat?" she asked. "Devlin never went into court -"
"I plan to be a little more hands on than he was. Are *you* okay with my taking this job, Cam?" he asked. "I know I should have asked you, and if you'd rather I not do it -"
"I'm happy for you," she assured him. "I know how much it means to you." She gave him a hug that led to a long kiss. "Mmm. I've always wondered what kissing a Chief Prosecutor would be like."
"I think we can do better than a kiss, don't you?" he asked, noticing for the first time that she was ready for bed. Sweeping her into his arms, he carried her toward the stairs and climbed them.
"I, James Conlon, do hereby affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Indiana, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of Prosecuting Attorney for Marion County and the City of Indianapolis . . ."
(A.N. Don't worry. I'm not finished with these characters yet. <G>)